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Category Archive: Criminal law

Crime stats – what do they mean?

A look at the key messages emerging from this year’s crime statistics Crime stats for South Africa were published last week by SAPS. Overall, reported crime decreased slightly, but violent crime, also referred to as contact crime, including murder, continued its upward trend. The statistics cover the period 1 April to 31 March, 2020, and […]

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#GeorgeFloyd: Police Brutality and Public Violence

By Simon David Dippenaar The death of a handcuffed suspect due to a restraint technique employed by a police official in the United States, and subsequent rioting, death and destruction of property, call these crimes into question. Without wading in on the race and political issues, this post simply considers the legality thereof, under the […]

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Don’t get locked up during lockdown

Lockdown has led to high numbers of arrests. Here’s what to do if it happens to you. Locked up during lockdown? Lockdown has brought with it an increased number of arrests and incidents of police brutality. In the first three weeks of level 5 lockdown, more than 100 charges were laid against the police for […]

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Harsh Sentence for a Minor Crime

We came across an interesting case recently where the punishment most definitely did not fit the crime. A petty criminal received an unduly harsh sentence. Furthermore, there were minor children involved who might have been left without their caregiver if the sentence had been carried out. An accused appeared before a magistrates court for the […]

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Will it be bail or gaol for convicted killer Jason Rodhe?

Why bail is not always granted In November 2018, Jason Rohde was convicted of killing his wife Susan and defeating or obstructing the course of justice by covering up her murder to make it look like a suicide. He is currently serving a 20-year sentence. Rohde has now asked the courts to grant bail so […]

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Help! There’s an arrest warrant out for me

What to do if an arrest warrant is issued against you If you are caught in the act of committing a crime, you will be arrested. At that point you need the services of a good bail lawyer. But what happens if an arrest warrant is issued against you? In this case you have not […]

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Criminal record? Wipe it clean

Make a fresh start If you have a criminal record, no matter how minor the offence, your chances of getting a job are slim. But there is good news. If it’s been 10 years or more since the conviction, you can apply to have your criminal record wiped clean. This is known as “expungement”. What […]

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Restorative justice – the arguments

Reconciliation vs. retribution Globally, conventional criminal justice systems, based on punishing people for their crimes through incarceration and instilling fear of imprisonment as a deterrent, seem to have limited success. Prisons are overcrowded and rehabilitation is largely failing. Instead, restorative justice methodology, with its focus on resolving crimes by holding offenders accountable for their actions, is […]

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