The Supreme Court of Appeal today allowed an appeal brought by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Transvaal against a sentence imposed by Mr Acting Justice Van Rooyen, sitting in the Pretoria High Court, on David Swanepoel, who had been convicted of murdering and robbing one Allen Sim.
Swanepoel was sentenced to fourteen years imprisonment and the correctional service authorities were ordered to see to it that he received therapy once a week from a psychologist or social worker and once a month from a psychiatrist.
The Supreme Court of Appeal said that the trial court had no power to order the correctional service authorities as to what treatment a convicted prisoner should receive. It also said that Swanepoel had been guilty of various serious offences calling for a sentence of at least twenty years. It said that the trial court had apparently assumed that it would be safe to release Swanepoel after fourteen years if he received the therapy the authorities were ordered to arrange for him to receive.
The Supreme Court of Appeal said that there was no basis for this apparent assumption. No expert evidence had been given, only evidence by a social worker who had spoken to a psychiatrist at Weskoppies Hospital and reported what he had said.
The Supreme Court of Appeal set aside sentence imposed on Swanepoel and replaced it with a sentence of twenty years imprisonment.
The appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions against the sentence of one year’s house arrest imposed on Swanepoel’s co-accused, Salmon Ignatius Basson, who was convicted of being an accessory after the fact to the murder and robbery and who was held to have acted under the influence of Swanepoel, was dismissed. The Supreme Court of Appeal said that there was no basis for interfering with the trial court’s discretion.