The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) informed AfriForum’s private prosecution unit in writing that they have officially decided to dismiss the eight complaints against persons that were arrested in Ballito during level 5 of lockdown for the so-called infringement of the Disaster Management Act, 57 of 2002. This unit addressed representation to the NPA why these persons should not be prosecuted.
This follows after AfriForum’s private prosecution unit announced in May this year that they will become involved with an incident where two peace officers from the KwaDukuza Local Municipality in Ballito manhandled a four-year old child against his father’s will and also arrested eight persons because they were on the beach.
The NPA summoned the persons to appear in court on 10 August 2020 (a public holiday) and afterwards indicated that they will first refer the cases back to the police for further investigation. The prosecutor in this case however indicated on 21 October that the NPA will let the prosecutions go.
“AfriForum welcomes the NPA’s decision to dismiss the complaints, but strongly feels that the complaints against these people should never have been lodged, and also that the law enforcers’ behaviour in this case was arbitrary and unnecessary. Most of the members of the public, especially during level 5 of lockdown, tried to make sense of the vague regulations, that were frequently changed and were irrational as well. To punish these people just because they were walking on the beach and furthermore to burden them with criminal records, would have been preposterous,” says Natasha Venter, Campaign Manager at AfriForum.