About this book

INNOVATION: Audio introduced

All chapters have been reformatted and posted with audio accompanying the text. Readers will be able to listen as they read, or to simply listen instead. Over time all chapters will be upgraded to include audio.


This site offers a free online textbook of criminal law in South Africa, with commentary on current affairs. The textbook is almost complete, with perhaps a few chapters on grounds of justification to follow.

It is current – as far as I am aware – as at 24 April 2017 – at least in so far as reported judgements go.

It is not a commercial venture in any way – I receive no revenue whatsoever from this site.

All posts must be regarded as working papers – subject to revision. Please forgive any typos you encounter. While the material will be proof read and checked, the rate at which this text will be written, virtually live, will not permit a careful and full proof editing. In time I will ensure that it is subjected to a thorough proof edit. In the meantime I must ask that you bear with me – I am giving priority here to substance over form and hope you can do the same. Finally, while the materials are free of charge, I do ask you only to give credit and reference this site where you rely on material on this site.

The chapters will operate at two levels: a basic level, in the main text, and an advanced level, contained in footnotes and textboxes – or otherwise under headings indicating that a particular section is of an advanced nature. Ordinarily the basic level will confine itself to the law as it is. The more advanced level will include authority or additional authority for a proposition, criticism of the law as it is, and proposals for what the law ought to be.

This site is not an advice centre, nor can I possibly respond to personal queries. It is aimed at giving access to knowledge from which an ordinary person is excluded because of the cost of tertiary education, textbooks, journals, and other printed material, or by the prohibitive costs of consulting lawyers. The site is not generally concerned with criminal procedure, nor the law of evidence – although on occasion, one or other such topic will be discussed. The site is not concerned with the practice of law in any way. It should not be regarded in any way as a substitute for consulting an attorney where you have been charged with a criminal offence. If you wish to pursue a criminal charge against any person, you need to lay a charge at a police station – ideally the station for the area in which the offence took place.

I will endeavour to keep the resources on this site up-to-date and as accurate as possible, but can give no absolute guarantees. Nevertheless, if you follow the material that will be posted here, you ought to have a fairly solid understanding of the criminal law of South Africa by the end – enough, at least, to ask the imperative question in any true democracy: is the criminal law what it ought to be?

Comments
  1. Amire what reaches for an unattainable altruism. The care, re. this topic, is predicted (not predictable) and appreciated by this reader.

  2. Christy says:

    Dear Prof
    Do you consult, I would like to know if it is possible to discuss something and get your professional opinion.
    Kind Regards
    Christy

  3. Jabulani Magubane says:

    Prof pls help me understand, what is the reason for having 11 Concourt judges instead of say 21 making three groups of 7 judges forming a quorum to adjudicate three different cases at any given time ? can’t the legislature amend that section 167 (1) and (2) ?

  4. Dumile Mateza says:

    Dear Prof

    My name is Dumile Mateza on Sunday November 08 we will be discussing the Oscar Pistorius Appeal especially the Dolus Eventualis principle. I would appreciate if you can be our guests. The programme is broadcast between 13h30 and 15h00. 082 553 1436

  5. Kelly Allen says:

    Good day. Being a long and complicated issue pertaining an attempted murder case which I laid against my exhusband, I now got proof that the Investigation process was full of deceitful flaws, which enabled my ex-husband to walk out a free man. With this proof that I have, I am urgently in search for a professional legal expert, that can give me the legal aspects of this proof.

  6. Mr. Simeon Riruako says:

    What a very rewarding and proud moments for me to follow your commentaries together with Adjunct Professor Stephen Tuson every time on Oscar Pistorius’s trial / court case, documentaries, profiles and in-depth expert analysis on DStv Channel 199.

    I totally agree with your opinion that the Judge Thokozile Masipa failed to apply the test for Dolus Eventualis correctly.

    You were my Lecturer in Criminal Law and Evidence for our Wits class of 2007 and 2008. I find your site as a source of quick reference for my practice and quite stimulating. I am now an admitted Legal Practitioner of the High Court in Namibia.

    My Wits student number was: 0418250A

    Regards
    Mr. Simeon Riruako

  7. tsokohle says:

    I very much enjoyed da article of da judgement of Judge Masipe, that is why I want to read such articles. Thank you a lot for such in dept knowledge of da law.

  8. Chris Jackson says:

    NOW PISTORIUS IS ON THE STAND, HOW MUCH HELP CAN HE GET FROM HIS ADVOCATE? It has been reported that Pistorius was not able to consult with his advocate over the weekend as he under cross examination. Does this apply during the whole of his cross-examination? As Pistorius appears to change his defence during the course of the cross examination, the extent that he can consult with his advocate could be crucial.

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