The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) finally decided to act in three cases that in some instances have been dragging on for nearly three years already after AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit became involved. This unit requested progress from the SAPS as well as the NPA in all three cases on behalf of the families of the victims. In some instances, there were allegations that the docket disappeared and in all the cases both the NPA and the SAPS failed to give adequate feedback to the next of kin of the deceased.
According to Adv. Phyllis Vorster, Prosecutor at AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit, AfriForum welcomes the decision of the NPA to indeed act in each of the undermentioned cases seeing as the next of kin of the victims deserve justice. “It is however regrettable that the families have had to wait so long before any progress was made. The necessity of the pressure exercised by the Private Prosecution Unit in order to ensure that prima facie cases such as these do in fact receive the necessary attention, is once again emphasised in all three cases.”
The NPA last year indicated that they will in fact reinstitute prosecution against Khumbulani Malinga after he allegedly ran over and killed Lizel Visagie in March 2019. This follows after 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. Malinga must appear in the Middelburg Regional Court on 9 March 2021. 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. Visagie succumbed to her injuries on the way to the hospital.
Alet Herbst and Lina Lukele
In the case where Alet Herbst and Lina Lukele died in an accident in October 2018 that was allegedly caused by a drunk driver, the NPA also decided to institute prosecution after the Private Prosecution Unit enquired about the case and why prosecution has yet to be instituted. The accused is being charged on two charges of manslaughter and must appear in court on 16 April 2021.
Gerhard Coetzer was shot dead in Middelburg in April 2018. The NPA failed to act until AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit requested progress relating to the case on behalf of Coetzer’s widow. The prosecutor subsequently referred the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions in Mpumalanga who ordered an inquest into the death of Coetzer. During the inquest, the magistrate will, amongst others, decide whether Coetzer’s death was caused by a crime committed by another person. There is evidence in this case that Coetzer was not shot during a robbery, but in fact by a person known by the deceased.