Justice definitely not served
Johan Bruwer, Knysna:
I received the following disconcerting WhatsApp from our Owls group today: “A suspect, who is well known in our area, had the case against him thrown out of court today as the ‘tourist victim’ was not available to testify. This individual is alleged to have been involved with breaking into the same guesthouse on a number of occasions. Guesthouse owners, in particular, are to be extra cautious. I am sure that SAPS and the CPF are as distressed as we are.”
As a former public prosecutor of many years, this is shocking news to me. Was justice served? Not at all, especially when the culprits are seldom arrested. In the “old regime” we had special arrangements for visitors or tourists who had been subject to such crimes or of pickpocketing, and where the suspect had been arrested soon afterwards, to have the case prioritised in order for the accused to plead as soon as possible and the “victim” to give evidence first. The case was then postponed for further investigation, etc.
Usually, the victim’s evidence was not disputed, as should have been in this particular case of housebreaking and theft, as he or she would only have stated that his or her property had been stolen from the guesthouse or whatever, therefore “uncontested”. “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” if criminals get away so easily with serious crimes”.