NEWS & ANALYSIS

Gerrie Nel abandons private prosecution - NPA

Authority vindicated after AfriForum's PPU gives up on 'alleged rape of grandchild' case

NPA'S DECISION AND REASONS TO DECLINE TO PROSECUTE VINDICATED BY ABANDONED PRIVATE PROSECUTION

After the NPA took a decision to decline to prosecute in a matter wherein a grandfather (name withheld to protect the identity of the child) was a suspect in a case of alleged rape and sexual assault of his grandchild.

Afriforum announced in March 2019 that it would pursue a private prosecution in the matter registered at Garsfontein Police Station. The NPA issued Afriforum with a nolle prosequi certificate (certificate of declining to prosecute), which is a prerequisite for the pursuit of a private prosecution, thereby enabling the mother of the child to privately prosecute the grandfather on counts of rape and sexual assault.

The silence of Afriforum after abandoning one of their private prosecutions comes as no surprise as they have since realised that the decision of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) not to institute criminal proceedings in that matter was valid.

Advocates Gerrie Nel and Phyllis Vorster of Afriforum were due to institute and conduct the prosecution on behalf Of the mother. They caused a subpoena to be served on the suspect and he had to appear in Court 8 of the Pretoria Regional Court on 13 March 2019. The NPA has since learnt that Afriforum withdrew this prosecution on 12 September 2019, citing that the mother does not want to continue with the prosecution.

The NPA initially declined to prosecute as there were no prospects of a successful prosecution, as the evidence contained in that docket was not sufficient to constitute a prima facie case. It is the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)'s view that Afriforum encountered the same challenge, which affirms the correctness of the NPNs stance in the matter.

Issued by Hurbetin Phindi Mjonondwane, NPA Regional Spokesperson: Gauteng, 2 December 2019