AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit today assisted the complainant in the Regional Court in Brits in one of the child abuse cases in which the unit is currently involved. The unit became involved in this case after the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) decided, for unexplained reasons, not to prosecute in a series of cases. In this case, two men and the mother of a young girl are being prosecuted by the NPA on various charges of raping the girl who was six years old at the time the alleged crime was committed in 2018. The case was adjourned until 28 October because the prosecutor argued that she did not have time to consult with all the witnesses.
According to adv. Gerrie Nel, the government merely pays lip service to victims of violence against women and especially children. “If the government and the NPA were really serious about combating violence against women and children, we would not have seen cases like today. Several high-ranking politicians make speeches year after year about the state’s commitment to the fight against gender-based violence and violence against children, yet the NPA has decided to issue a nolle prosequi certificate in this matter. However, the moment we indicated that we would prosecute the accused privately, the prosecutor decided to institute prosecution. It is not only justice that suffers from these types of decisions, but especially the young victims of unscrupulous criminals who think they can evade justice.”
During a media conference in July this year, AfriForum announced the unit’s involvement in four cases of some of the most serious cases of sexual abuse of children that the unit has yet encountered. In three of the cases, the NPA, despite overwhelming evidence, initially made the decision not to prosecute anyone.
It can be deduced from evidence in this case that the six-year-old girl’s grandmother used her as a commodity by allowing her to be raped for a fee. The girl described how offenders pushed a dish sponge into her mouth during the rapes and sexual molestation to prevent her from making any noise. Three defendants were charged after the unit became involved in the case on 29 June 2021, but two other suspects identified by the little girl have not yet been arrested, including the grandmother.