NPA ‘let down Stander family’

2013-07-04 00:00

BURRY Stander’s family has accused the NPA of shabby treatment following its decision to withdraw criminal charges against the man who allegedly caused his death.

Stander, a renowned cyclist, died in a road accident in Port Shepstone in ­January.

On Tuesday, the NPA announced that charges against Njabulo Nyawose, the taxi driver accused of killing him, had been provincially withdrawn. Nyawose had faced a charge of culpable homicide.

The Stander’s attorney Paul Preston wrote a letter to southern KZN chief prosecutor Ray Sansom saying that Cherise (Stander’s widow) had been “very distressed” about the court proceedings.

He cited a number of concerns regarding the decision to withdraw the case, including that the NPA had failed to inform him or the family that the matter was going to be withdrawn.

The letter reads: “If there was a danger that this matter would be withdrawn due to the delays which all of us, with respect, find perplexing, then myself and the Stander family should have been alerted to this long before July 2, 2013.”

“One can only imagine then, how it must have felt for the family to hear from the press that charges had been withdrawn … ”

“I propose that at very least the prosecuting authority owes the Stander family and more specifically to Burry’s widow, an apology and reassurances of how and when this matter is going to again be before court,” said Preston.

Preston also questioned how the NPA handled the case, pointing out that it was a high-profile prosecution.

“The charges flowing from Burry Stander’s death are possibly the highest-profile prosecution from a worldwide interest point of view ever to commence in Port Shepstone.”

He said the Stander family said they received shabby treatment from the NPA.

Xolile Ntshulana, Nyawose’s lawyer, said: “We are not in a celebratory mood because of the case being provisionally withdrawn. This was done because my client was psychologically and financially prejudiced. He has had a dark cloud hanging over his head since the incident.

“It was not fair that my client was pre-judged by the public due to media reports. The public had found my client guilty before the court could hear the case. That is not fair.”

The NPA’s Natasha Ramkisson said the body had heard of the letter and the allegations made. “At this point we have not seen the letter and the allegations made, therefore will not be drawn into commenting until we have seen it,” she said.

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