Justice on the horizon in HIV attempted murder case

The attempted murder and rape case against a former member of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has been postponed to April for closing arguments. The accused allegedly infected the complainant, his former partner Antoinette Ndishishi, with HIV while knowing that he had the virus and withheld this fact from her. The Private Prosecution Unit represents Ndishishi.

The name of the accused is being withheld because the allegations relate to his health status and the matter is being heard in camera.

Ndishishi attended proceedings today where she was called by the magistrate to testify to clarify aspects of her evidence. She says the trial, which started in March 2022, has taken its toll on her. “I would like to see the accused convicted and sentenced and for this matter to be finalised. This trial has taken long, and it is emotionally draining. It is not a nice thing going to court. AfriForum and my family have been very supportive,” she said.

Both the accused and the complainant were members of the SANDF when the alleged crimes were committed. The unit became involved in this matter in 2018, which started with forcing the SANDF to provide the accused’s medical records, that contained information relating to his HIV status dating back to 2007.

The SANDF’s refusal to provide these records, resulted in the National Prosecuting Authority having to withdraw the case twice. Without the unit’s persistent pressure on the SANDF, the docket would not have contained sufficient evidence to finally prosecute the accused. The matter was postponed to 16 April for closing argument.

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