Magistrate John Maloba on 23 November 2021, in the Johannesburg Magistrates Court found that Naeem Deedat could be held accountable for the death of his wife, Suraya Deedat, and their four children.
The magistrate further stated that he sees this inquest and his decision regarding the accountability of Naeem as a safety net for the State to make the decision to prosecute or not.
Suraya and her children died during a fire (from which Naeem escaped unscathed) in their home in Johannesburg in 2011.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) must now determine whether they will prosecute Naeem more than a decade after he allegedly wiped out his entire family.
AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit, under the lead of Adv. Gerrie Nel, have represented the family of Suraya since 2018 and also led evidence on behalf of the family in the formal inquest.
During the course of the inquest, the Unit called various experts and other witnesses to convince the court to make this finding.
According to Natasha Venter, Advisor at AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit, this is a victory for justice and for Suraya’s family who have for so long continued to fight for justice.
“This is one of the worst cases of gender based violence that we have encountered and we will continue to assist Suraya’s family in the matter. Should the NPA, despite the overwhelming evidence led by the Unit during the inquest, decide not to prosecute, we will consider private prosecution.”
Read Adv. Gerrie Nel’s closing arguments here
Read the original article in Afrikaans on AfriForum