The Black Flame (part three): Snyman’s Criminal Law

Author: Tshepo Bogosi Mosaka

ISSN: 1996-2118
Affiliations: LLB (Wits) LLM (UCT) PhD (Nottingham), Lecturer in Law, Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town
Source: South African Journal of Criminal Justice, Volume 35 Issue 1, p. 1 – 18


Part three of this trilogy of papers (entitled after WEB du Bois’s trilogy of novels titled the Black Flame) concludes an extraordinarily prolonged attempt to open a dialogue with the esteemed author and revisor of Snyman’s Criminal Law. The core message of this trilogy is that a small window into a vibrant indigenous criminal law scholarship that is not perpetually northbound-gazing towards Europe has been opened by the latest edition of Snyman’s Criminal Law. The first two parts of this trilogy revealed some of the areas in which the next edition, and South African criminal law scholarship in general, can proceed further into this decolonial direction. This third paper builds on the first two, which focused mainly on the introductory and historical aspects (part one), and the General Part (part two) respectively, by focusing on the Special Part of South African criminal law. In particular, this paper makes decolonial interventions in three areas in which it is argued that the next edition of the book can improve: (i) the taxonomic arrangement of offences; (ii) the total exclusion of African customary law offences from the discussion; and (iii) the complex crime of corruption.