Sexual assault: Acting judge to be prosecuted after PPU’s involvement


Sexual assault: Acting judge to be prosecuted after PPU’s involvement
Sexual assault: Acting judge to be prosecuted after PPU's involvement

The National Prosecuting Authority has indicated that they will prosecute a former acting judge for the alleged sexual assault of a female advocate who approached AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit for assistance. This follows after the Private Prosecution Unit made representations to Adv. Andrew Chauke, the Director of Public Prosecutions in Gauteng (DPP), because no criminal proceedings had been instituted against the judge at that time.

The victim 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, which is disappointing.

After the complainant laid the charges against him, the acting judge (who was also nominated to appear before the Judicial Service Committee to become a judge) opened a case of crimen injuria against her. The NPA, however, indicated that they would not institute prosecution on the grounds of this charge.

“We welcome the NPA’s decision to prosecute the former acting judge, because we have studied the docket and are of the opinion that there is enough evidence to prosecute. We have identified a growing tendency by the NPA to rather refuse to prosecute complicated matters in the hope that the complainants will disappear and it is unfortunate that we once again in this case had to challenge the NPA to fulfil government’s promises that cases of gender based violence will be prioritised before they could see that there is a prima facie case. The Private Prosecution Unit will monitor the case and continue to support the complainant,” says Adv. Gerrie Nel, Head of AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit.

According to Adv. Nel the complainant in the matter is very brave and has decided to stand firm against this type of criminal conduct against women. “The advocate during consultation said that it has become a dangerous occupation to be a woman in South Africa. That is why she has taken a stand in order to ensure that an environment is created in which her daughter, as well as other women will feel comfortable in pursuing a career without falling victim to ‘powerful’ and seemingly untouchable men, especially in the work place.”

Read the original article in Afrikaans on AfriForum