AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit continued its prosecution of an alleged rapist in the Regional Court in Somerset West today.
The Private Prosecution Unit, headed by Adv. Gerrie Nel, represents the victim, Celeste Gouws. Gouws was raped in her house in 2017 after she had presumably been drugged. The Director of Public Prosecutions in the Eastern Cape initially refused to prosecute the suspect, Isaac Andile Memese, despite overwhelming evidence against him. AfriForum is of the opinion that the handling of the matter has up to now pointed to political interference, as Memese and his family have political ties.
Gouws testified today about the events on the night of the incident. Adv. Nel also showed CCTV footage that clearly shows how Memese repeatedly touches and flirts with her, and even tries to kiss her. She repeatedly rejects his advances. Gouws testified that Memese repeatedly demanded her to take a bath with him. The footage also shows Memese exchanging his own glass with hers, and minutes later she becomes unstable. Memese never drinks from his own glass again.
Gouws eventually had to contact a friend to keep her company at the guest house that she managed, because Memese did not cease his unacceptable behaviour. After the friend had escorted Memese out, the footage shows the accused slipping into the house minutes later. He then forces Gouws to her bedroom.
“It is very disappointing that the NPA declined to prosecute in this case despite the clear evidence against the accused. High-ranking politicians and government officials are forever condemning gender-based violence, but this case makes it clear, once again, that the authorities are unwilling to act against such offenders, especially if they have political ties,” says Jacques Broodryk, AfriForum’s Campaigns Manager.
The case continues Thursday 15 July.