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SCA upholds Minister’s appeal in assisted suicide case

06 December 2016

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) today upheld the appeal lodged by the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and Minister of Health against the order of the North Gauteng High Court wherein the court granted an order in favour of the late Mr Stransham-Ford, who was in the terminal stages of cancer.

The Court ordered that a medical practitioner could administer a lethal agent at his request but he died before the order was granted. Nevertheless, the Judge in the court aquo granted the order.

The SCA held that the claim ceased to exist once the applicant died before the order could be granted. SCA further held that this was an inappropriate case in which to develop the common law of murder and culpable homicide.

“We are relived that the SCA correctly stated the law as this decision could have far reaching implications on the constitutionally entrenched right to life and our common law crimes of murder and culpable homicide” Minister Masutha said.

Issued by Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services

Mthunzi Mhaga
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services