ROBBERY BY FORCED TRANSFER OF MONEY BY ELECTRONIC MEANS

S v SISHUBA 2018 (1) SACR 402 (WCC)

Robbery — What constitutes — Forced transfer of money by electronic means — Such conduct could be subject of crime of robbery.

 

The accused stood trial in the circuit court on two counts of murder and two counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances. The crimes were perpetrated on the elderly employers of his friend who had also participated in the crimes, but had escaped to Lesotho. One of the counts of robbery involved the forced transfer of money in a bank account belonging to the victims, to another account in Lesotho. The transfer was done by electronic means during the course of the robbery. The court raised the question whether such an electronic transfer of money could constitute the offence of robbery.

Held, that, if the crime of theft, which was an essential element of the crime of robbery, could be committed in such a manner, then, as a general proposition, where money in an incorporeal form was stolen through the use of violence or threat of violence, the crime of robbery could similarly be committed. On the facts of the present matter, the crime of robbery with aggravating circumstances in respect of this count had accordingly been proved. (See [93] – [95].) The accused was convicted on all four counts.

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