A homeowner from Phoenix in Durban faces a murder charge after he shot an alleged robbery suspect who stabbed him in his yard. Timeslive reported on this story earlier in 2023.
According to the SAPS a 60-year-old man allegedly found an unknown suspect at his premises with copper pipes whereafter he approached the suspect who then became violent and stabbed him. The victim drew his firearm and allegedly shot the suspect who passed away on the scene.
The first responders to the scene, KZN VIP Protection Services, said that the suspect allegedly jumped over walls from the Brentwood area to Woodview Drive where the incident took place, while fleeing from community members who suspected him of theft and robbery.
The suspect was declared dead by medics while the homeowner was being treated by KZN VIP Medics. The wounds sustained through stabbing were bleeding excessively and he had to be transported to a hospital for further treatment.
The SAPS are investigating a charge of murder.
The reality of living in South Africa, is that the question isn’t if you will be confronted with crime, but when.
Are you prepared?
Making the decision to use your firearm in self-defence can have many unwanted legal consequences for you should you fail to adhere to the requirements of private defence (“self-defence”) as prescribed in our criminal law. To complicate the matter even further is that a split-second decision must usually correctly be made to escape a possible conviction whilst being confronted by immediate and life-threatening circumstances. This sounds nearly impossible.
In South Africa, the law allows for the use of lethal force in self-defence in certain circumstances, including when a person reasonably believes that their life or the lives of others (including the protection of valuable property) are in danger. However, the use of lethal force in self-defence must be reasonable and proportional to the threat that is faced.
Criminal law expert, Dr. Llewelyn Curlewis weighs in:
“If an intruder enters a person’s home (or property), the use of lethal force may be justifiable in certain circumstances. However, each case is judged on its own merit and the courts will consider all the facts and circumstances of the matter at hand objectively to determine whether the use of force was justified.
South African law also requires that the person using the force in self-defence must have exhausted all reasonable alternatives before resorting to lethal force.
This means that if it is possible to avoid using lethal force, or to retreat from the situation, the person must do so before using deadly force. It is also important to note that the use of lethal force is not automatically justified simply because someone is trespassing on private property.
The threat to the person’s life or the lives of others must be present and imminent for the use of lethal force using for example your firearm, to be justifiable.
If it is a clear case of “self-defence”, you may still end up being prosecuted for murder or any other competent verdict, because the State must ensure that no possible criminal act goes unpunished.
However, fortunately the result would be an acquittal as a result of a court applying the applicable principles of the law associated with such a defence. It is therefore of the utmost importance that the best possible legal advice is obtained to assist you and the court to ultimately get to a just conclusion.
Some people suggest and even believe that the law protects the perpetrator more than the victim who acted in “self-defence”. This is simply not true. With the assistance of professional legal experts on your side as an accused, the truth will always prevail, and the justice system will acknowledge your innocence.
In the specific matter referred to above, the homeowner will escape liability and conviction because his action fell within the parameters of the relevant defence in law that avoid one of the essential elements of the crime, namely so-called “unlawfulness”.
As long as the homeowner acted in circumstances where it can be argued that he faced a real and imminent danger; that he used the minimum force to overcome the danger; and for as long as was necessary to overcome the attack, he will be acquitted. The fact that the robber did not use a weapon himself when he attacked the homeowner, is immaterial, since the nature of the threat is of importance and not the nature of the weapon used in the attack. For that matter, even if the homeowner used an unlicensed firearm (which is not recommended at all!) or a firearm belonging to someone else to protect himself, he would be within the scope of this defence in law. A person who truly finds himself in danger may use any type of weapon at his disposal.”
What if this happens to you?
Have you ever thought of the legal support you might need if you were to defend yourself, your family or your property by using your firearm?
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