Delayed rape case starts in Oct

2009-10-14 17:13

kalahari.com

Johannesburg - A woman who claims she was raped almost 40 years ago will go ahead with her case at the end of October, despite the four-decade delay, the Women's Legal Centre in Cape Town said on Wednesday.

The Constitutional Court set aside a high court ruling, saying the lower court had failed to take into account the nature of the alleged wrongdoing and the trauma associated with it, which resulted in the delay in instituting legal action.

The woman approached the Constitutional Court after laying the charge for the rape, allegedly committed between 1968 and 1970, had failed.

The accused, currently nearly 80-years-old, denied the allegations and made an application in the High Court in Kimberley for a permanent stay of private prosecution, claiming it infringed on his constitutional right to a fair trial.

Witnesses dead


Many of the people he could have called to give testimony had died and he would not be able to verify or refute many of the details provided as evidence because so much time had passed.

The high court granted the stay on the grounds that the woman "unreasonably delayed" instituting proceedings and that such a delay would cause the accused irreparable trial prejudice.

The Constitutional Court however held that the high court would only be in a position to test prejudice during the trial, and that the accused's right to be assumed innocent until proven guilty would protect him.

"The decision has developed the law from a women's rights perspective," said Cherith Sanger, an attorney at the Women's Legal Centre, which acts as a consultant for the claimant.

"It recognises the seriousness, gravity and impact of child sexual abuse and guarantees women access to the courts in order to address injustices that they suffered as children."

Positive step

Sanger said the 52-year-old claimant was positive about the case and confident of winning.

She was unable to say if any witnesses had been tracked down.

"What has happened so far... is a positive step in our Constitution for women who were (allegedly) sexually abused as children," she said.

"The claimant, led by her legal representative, Steven Groenewald... will proceed with her case in the Kimberley Regional Magistrate's Court at the end of October 2009," the statement read.
 

- SAPA

Read more on:    constitutional court
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Cape Town - 16:15 PM
    Road name: Wet Weather
    RAIN across the greater Cape Town area - drive with care and use headlights - Allow Extra Tavel Time
  • Friday Kuils River - 09:28 AM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Site Manager

Cape Town
Evolution Recruitment
R8 000 - R12 000 Per Month

Receptionist

Western Cape
Orion Hotels & Resorts
R4 000 - R5 000 Per Month

IT Support Engineer

Gardens Oranjezicht
Amazon Development Centre SA (Pty) Ltd

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 3 Black 64GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 4G

Retina Display Finally the incredible Retina display technology from the iPhone...

From R7999.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The day may have a fluctuating sensitive energy to begin with, but later when the Moon moves into dramatic and creative Leo you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.