An Eersterust father and his two daughters made their first court appearance on charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm – more than two years after the case was opened.
Windel Ameer, Shahiedah Courtiers and Shariefah Ameer appeared in the Hatfield Magistrate’s Court on Friday 10 February 2023. The trio allegedly assaulted Linodene Jacobus in October 2020 which left her with several stab wounds and bruises on her body. She would later lose her unborn baby.
Despite video evidence of the assault and accounts from several eyewitnesses, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) declined to prosecute.
A Senior Prosecutor in the NPA, no less, reasoned that “based on the fact that it was a mutual fight,” there was no prospect of successful prosecution.
AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit wrote to the NPA to express astonishment at the irrational decision. “Should we accept that women who are injured in fights will receive no protection from the law? We cannot but reflect our abhorrence that the NPA would allow a matter like this to be dragged out for months … If ‘fights’ are allowed, we in fact make allowance for revenge fights which may result in lawless chaos,” says Adv. Gerrie Nel, head of the unit.
In May last year, following pressure from the unit, the NPA reviewed the decision not to prosecute.
Barry Bateman, the unit’s spokesperson, says it is unacceptable that it took so long to ensure the matter was brought to court. “It appears the authorities would try to find any excuse available not to prosecute, instead of ensuring cases are ready to proceed to trial. There is sufficient evidence to support the charges against the accused and we are now satisfied that the matter is finally before the courts.
“We do, however, express the same concern as the complainant’s family: that the accused through possible influence in their community are able to undermine police investigations, which allows them to act with impunity. This is something the unit will not stand for. It also demonstrates that without support from a watching brief like AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit, justice is almost unattainable for citizens,” says Bateman.
The matter was postponed to Thursday, 23 February.
Read the original article in Afrikaans on AfriForum
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