Jus­ti­ce de­fi­ni­te­ly not ser­ved

Knysna-Plett Herald - - Letters | Briewe -

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”.

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