2166_Judgment - Prinsloo v The State.doc

2166_Judgment - Prinsloo v The State.doc - THE SUPREME...

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THE SUPREME COURT OF APPEAL OF SOUTH AFRICA JUDGMENT NOT REPORTABLE Case No: 534/13 In the matter between: LOURENS STEPHANUS PRINSLOO APPELLANT and THE STATE RESPONDENT Neutral citation : Prinsloo v State (534/13) [2014] ZASCA 96 (15 July 2014) Coram: Bosielo, Saldulker JJA and Mathopo AJA Heard: 29 May 2014 Delivered: 15 July 2014 Summary: Criminal law ─ appeal against conviction ─ crimen iniuria and assault ─ the proper approach where the state and defence versions are mutually destructive ─ evaluation of the probabilities, strength and weaknesses of both versions.
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ORDER On appeal from: Free State High Court, Bloemfontein (Musi and Daffue JJ sitting as court of appeal): The appeal against conviction is dismissed. JUDGMENT Mathopo AJA (Bosielo and Saldulker JJA concurring): [1] This appeal arises from an altercation about parking at a female residence called Vergeet-My-Nie situated at the University of the Free State. The appellant was convicted of two counts of crimen iniuria and one count of assault by the Bloemfontein Magistrate Court on 4 January 2012. All the counts were taken together for purposes of sentencing. He was sentenced to a fine of R6 000 or twelve months imprisonment, wholly suspended for a period of five years on suitable conditions. The appellant appealed only against his conviction to the Free State High Court, with the leave of the trial court. The appeal was dismissed on 14 February 2013. The appeal on conviction before us is with leave of the court below. [2] The circumstances giving rise to the conviction and sentence may be summarised as follows: On 3 February 2010 Ms Mkhiwane, the complainant in count one, testified that she went to the Vergeet-My-Nie female residence at the University of the Free State with her two daughters Ms Ayanda Mkhiwane (Ms Ayanda) and Ms Zintle Mkhiwane (Ms Zintle). Her youngest daughter Ms Zintle was enrolled as a first year student and would be housed at that residence. Upon their arrival at the residence there were no available 2
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parking bays. Ms Mkhiwane parked her vehicle next to the residence, in a non-designated spot, as she had to offload Ms Zintle’s luggage. After offloading the luggage, they returned to the motor vehicle. She entered first. She then overheard Ms Ayanda speaking to someone and noticed the appellant and three ladies pointing their fingers at them. Ms Ayanda asked them what the problem was. At that stage, the appellant, who was 30 metres away from them, moved towards their vehicle and uttered the following words whilst pointing at her: Yes I have a problem but I do not want to talk to you, I want to talk to the stupid and rude one’. The appellant also said to Ms Ayanda that she does not have a driver’s licence because she is black. [3] Ms Mkhiwane alighted from her vehicle to reprimand the appellant not to speak to her in that manner and told him that she was old enough to be his mother. Undaunted, the appellant grabbed her on the chest with his left hand and said, ‘I will beat the hell out of you, woman’. She was scared; she lost her balance and informed the appellant that she was going to have him arrested.
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