Conviction in Middelburg-case after intervention of AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit

After AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit intervened, Magistrate Andreas Masteroudes last week found Khumbulani Malinga guilty on a charge of culpable homicide in the Middelburg Regional Court. Malinga pleaded guilty on this charge after he killed Lizel Visagie in March 2019 by hitting her with his vehicle. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) initially withdrew the charges against Malinga until AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit directed a letter to the NPA and the SAPS that they are acting on behalf of Visagie’s next of kin and requested progress in the case.

During the incident, Visagie pushed her then minor daughter out of the way of Malinga’s vehicle while he was busy fleeing from the traffic police. Her leg was severed during the incident and she passed away on the way to the hospital.

The Private Prosecution Unit on 29 September 2020 wrote to the NPA on behalf of the Visagie family considering that the case against Malinga had, at that stage, been dragging on for longer than a year. The NPA, according to their letter to AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit on 13 November 2020, initially withdrew the charges against Malinga since the blood alcohol report was outstanding. The case against Malinga was struck off the roll on 23 August 2020 as a result of this. However, following the Private Prosecution Unit’s involvement in the case, Malinga was subpoenaed by the NPA to appear in court in March 2021 and was finally found guilty last week.

According to Adv. Phyllis Vorster, Prosecutor at AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit, AfriForum welcomes the court’s verdict, as well as the prosecution of Malinga by the NPA. “This case emphasises the necessity of the pressure that the Private Prosecution Unit is applying so that prima facie cases can indeed be prosecuted. We are satisfied that justice was done in this case and hope that the sentencing proceedings on 15 November will provide the necessary closure to the victim’s family.”

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