17 June 2024

International Cases

Nong and Masingi vs. The State

South Africa



An accused can be convicted on the evidence of a competent single witness

The Appellant and his co-accused were convicted in the Regional Court, Johannesburg on a count of robbery with aggravating circumstances read with Section 51 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1997. On 6 November 2017, the first appellant was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment and the second appellant was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment.

The magistrate, refused the Appellants leave to appeal against their conviction but granted leave to appeal in respect of sentence. Aggrieved by the outcome of their application for leave to appeal, the appellants lodged a petition for leave to appeal in respect of their conviction in terms of Section 309C of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (the CPA), in the High Court. Appeal against sentence was heard by the high court and dismissed.

It is trite that an accused can be convicted on the evidence of a competent single witness’s. In some instances contradictions in the evidence of a single witness maybe fatal, whilst in others they may not.

The totality of the evidence reflects that, the complainant was robbed at gun point. A toy gun was retrieved by Simphiwe on the scene, in the possession of the first appellant when they were apprehended. The account given by Constable was that a toy gun was recovered and handed directly to him on his arrival at the scene. This was indicative that, the Appellants had failed to show that there were reasonable prospects of success on appeal.

Therefore, the high court had not misdirected itself when it refused the petition to appeal against the conviction and as a result, the Appellants’ application for leave to appeal against the refusal of the petition on their conviction should be dismissed.

Tags : Robbery Conviction Legality

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