English, LatinShow more English, from Latin crimen charge, accusation + injuria indignity.
A wilful injury to the dignity of another, caused by e.g. the use of obscene language or gestures, or racial insults.
[1912S. Afr. Law Reports: TPD 1106The accused was charged..with the crime of criminal injuria by wilfully and unlawfully exposing his private parts in the presence of certain persons with an..intent to injure and insult them.]
1958B. BennettThis Was a Man 119A man was charged with defamatory libel on the Master of the Cape Supreme Court by publishing a scurrilous letter about him...An alternative charge of crimen injuria was framed on the ground that the letter was sent to the Master ‘with intent to injure and insult.’
1971E.M. Burchell inStd Encycl. of Sn Afr.III. 496Criminal injuria or crimen injuria is a wilful aggression upon the dignity or honour of another. On account of the immoral nature of this crime an accused will only be found guilty if, in the opinion of the court, his conduct was of a sufficiently reprehensible character to warrant punishment judged by present-day moral standards.
[1984Cape Times 18 Jan. 23A Man who called a Brooklyn woman a ‘f— jintoo’ (whore) was yesterday fined R250 (or 100 days) after being convicted in the Magistrate’s Court of criminal injuria.]
1987B. Krige inFrontline Feb. 13[They] were charged with crimen injuria for alleging they had smelt liquor on the breath of the officer in charge.
1987G. Silber inFrontline Mar. 9In the seventies Van Tonder’s fame centred on his crusade for the right to be served in Afrikaans wherever he chose to take his custom: ‘If you want to speak Afrikaans, speak to the kaffir,’ one shop owner told him. He took her to court, where she was fined R50 for crimen injuria.
1987Pace Nov. 4They had some sort of altercation..which ended with the Scotsman calling the driver a silly ——. The driver was..most offended and took the wee Scots fellow to court for using racially offensive language, crimen injuria — you name it he threw the book at him.
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