The Johannesburg Regional Court has set a trial date for the case of sexual assault and harassment against a former acting judge. The accused today made a brief appearance in court where his legal representative confirmed they had received the docket from the state prosecutor. The trial has been set down for 25 and 26 August 2022.
A young female advocate filed a criminal complaint against the accused, but the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) initially decided not to prosecute until the complainant approached AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit.
AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit made representations to adv. Andrew Chauke, the Director of Public Prosecutions in Gauteng (DPP), in October 2021 because no criminal proceedings had been instituted against the judge at that time. The DPP’s office in February 2022, in a letter to AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit, indicated that, after receiving the representations, they would prosecute the accused.
The complainant also approached the Bar Council, the Johannesburg Society of Advocates and the Legal Practice Council, but received little to no support from these professional bodies. However, after the Private Prosecution Unit brought it to the attention of the LPC that the accused is now being prosecuted, the LPC, almost as an afterthought, decided to institute disciplinary proceedings against the former acting judge.
The accused further applied to the Judicial Service Committee (JSC) to be considered as a permanent judge, but he withdrew this application after prosecution was instituted. He also, after the complainant laid the charges against him, opened a case of crimen injuria against her, whereafter the investigating officer in the matter said to her that she could be glad that she is not being prosecuted on these charges. The NPA, however, indicated that they would not institute prosecution on the grounds of this charge.