Report on killer opposed

2015-01-29 00:00

CAPE TOWN — A report that suggests a convicted murderer is a candidate for a rehabilitative sentence outside prison has met with much opposition.

“He is a good candidate for a rehabilitative sentence,” said Eugene Mulder, a ­probation officer in the sentencing of ­Faizel Hendricks (41) in the Cape Town regional court.

In a historic private prosecution, ­Hendricks was last year found guilty of murdering Rochelle Naidoo (27) nine years earlier. It was the first private ­prosecution in South Africa’s legal history that resulted in a guilty verdict.

Mulder read his report, but admitted he had not received any of the documents in the case, including the charge sheet or a copy of the verdict.

Advocate Gideon Scheltema SC, for Naidoo’s mother, Sara Asmall of Pietermaritzburg, said he could not understand how Mulder could draw up a report without asking for a copy of the verdict.

“You were very selective in your ­approach,” he told Mulder.

Mulder answered it was his opinion and he did not have to agree. In his report, ­Mulder said Hendricks suffered from ­depression and was supporting four ­children. He also noted Hendricks felt ­remorse and had often tried to communicate with the Asmall family after the ­murder, but he was not allowed.

Scheltema said this was not true. He specifically referred to Hendricks’s ­testimony during Naidoo’s inquest. “Her family was there. At no stage during his testimony did he turn to the family to say he was sorry.”

Advocate John van der Berg asked that Mulder should get a chance to compile an amended report in which he takes into consideration all the information of the case.

Magistrate Michelle Adams agreed and postponed the case to April 7.

Hendricks said after the court proceedings he would like to speak to the media, but will do so at a later stage.

• Corruption Watch explains that the Criminal Procedure Act allows any private person who suffer direct harm or injury from a crime to launch a prosecution, if the National Prosecuting Authority ­declines to prosecute or halts a prosecution, provided certain substantive and procedural requirements are met.

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