In the case of Ex parte die Minister van Justisie: In re S v Van Wyk 1967 1 SA 488 (A) the defendant successfully pleaded private defence where upon the minister put forth the following question: could a person ever be justified in using lethal force to protect their property? The court decided unanimously in the affirmative with judge Steyn stating that “if the use of necessary force is justified ... then it is not clear to me why deadly force must be excluded from that principal…proportionally will not do as a general basis for private defence” .
This judgment was passed 40 years before the constitution of the republic of South Africa was instituted, the constitution makes provisions for several fundamental rights which include the right…show more content… Where it is true that the constitution protects your right to property and the constitution doesn’t specifically state which right outweighs which, the right to life can’t be arbitrarily limited except in exceptional circumstances where there are innocent lives in immediate mortal danger.
In s v makwanyane where the court formally abolished the death penalty thereby emphasising the right to life the court stated that if was no longer permissible to take the life of a convicted criminal then it can’t be reasonably justifiable to take the life of person you’re trying to arrest, by the same token this applies to a person who is acting unlawfully by committing theft.
In international law specifically zecevic v DPP (Vic) which took place in the high court of Australia, the court held that fatal force is justified only when there is a reasonable belief that serious bodily harm or death will result from the attack. The approach by the Australian court is merely one of numerous countries including Canada , Queensland , and Ghana