AfriForum reports state prosecutor

The civil rights organisation AfriForum on 26 July 2017 supported a member of its Vryburg neighbourhood watch to lay a formal charge against Daniel Tedikwe, State Prosecutor of the Vryburg Magistrates Court, at the Director of Public Prosecutions after alleged unconstitutional and unethical conduct.   

This follows after the AfriForum neighbourhood watch member was arrested on 28 June 2017 for alleged aggravated assault. However, the State Prosecutor refused to formally place the matter on the court roll in order to offer the accused the opportunity to apply for bail. The accused subsequently had to spend a night in detention. AfriForum’s legal team was also refused access to the accused.

“AfriForum’s lawyer made his appearance at court on 29 June 2017 and again requested that a bail application be placed on the roll. The State Prosecutor once again refused to do so seeing as the complainant’s injuries were apparently too serious,” says Alta Pretorius, AfriForum’s Regional Coordinator for Stellaland.

The lawyer of the civil rights watchdog took up the matter with Sonja Rooskrans, Senior State Prosecutor, whereafter she instructed that a formal bail hearing must be placed on the court roll, after which the application was heard on 29 June 2017. During court proceedings the State Prosecutor again attempted to keep the accused in detention by increasing the bail amount. However, the accused was granted bail on 29 June 2017 by Magistrate Sophia Meyer.

“The State Prosecutor’s conduct is malicious, unacceptable and conflicting with the constitutional rights of the accused as entrenched in Section 12 of the Constitution, especially considered in light of the fact that the South African Police Service (SAPS) had no objection against bail and the release of the accused,” says Hein Gonzales, Risk and Support Manager of AfriForum’s Community Safety Division.

“In terms of Section 35 of the Constitution, an accused is deemed to be not guilty unless he is found guilty in a formal hearing. The State Prosecutor’s conduct amounts to the misuse of bail proceedings that violate the constitutional rights of the accused,” adds Gonzales.

Are you tired of victimisation, intimidation and the misuse of state resources? Become involved at your local AfriForum branch: SMS “Tronk” to 45351 (R1).

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