Open letter to Menzi Simelane

2010-11-20 13:04

Dear advocate Simelane, you never cease to surprise me.

Last week you donned the prosecutor’s robes for the second time in your life when you decided to “lead from the front” in the John Block corruption trial.

It was a good public relations stunt – you even received kudos from this newspaper for being a visible crimefighter. A small bird then whispered in my ear that Block and his co-accused had hired a heavyweight senior counsel “to wipe the floor” with you, the rookie prosecutor.

I can only hope that you have a strong enough case to withstand the looming onslaught, although I’ve been told that you will not lead the actual prosecution for the State.

But hey, you got the good public relations you wanted, even though you were rapped on the knuckles by Magistrate Lance Roach of the Kimberley court for “a show of force”.

Your decision this week to charge the 15-year-old Jules High School girl for having “consensual sex” is, however, a whole different stunt. With all due respect, dear advocate, this is pure looney tunes.

On the same day newspapers reported on your decision to charge both the 15-year-old and the two boys, aged 14 and 16, for allegedly having consensual sex, the other front page story was of another girl (15) who gave birth to conjoined twins at the Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital on Monday.

Excuse my cynical sense of humour, sir, but I was wondering whether you would now also charge this young girl for having had underage, “consensual” sex after she had been discharged from hospital?

Children in this country have sex, advocate Simelane. Lots of sex. The best our government can do is to intensify its ABC campaign – educate our children on the dangers of unprotected sex; encourage children to be faithful to one partner; and to condomise if they choose to engage in sexual activities.

I can think of a number of other cases you should rather be spending the state’s time and money on – prosecuting the mining companies destroying our environment; charging bogus contractors who are not delivering services to the poor; or that pesky little case you refuse to touch, the arms deal.

Advocate, teenagers having consensual sex is surely not a priority crime.

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