Abducted girl seeks interdict to stop media naming her

2015-04-02 19:41
The girl just after she was born. (Netwerk24)

The girl just after she was born. (Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - The legal team of girl who was abducted as a baby is to apply for an urgent court interdict preventing the media from naming her when she turns 18 at the end of the month.

Ann Skelton, the girl's lawyer from the Centre for Child Law (CCL), said the matter would be placed on the urgent court roll of the North Gauteng High Court, in Pretoria, on April 21.

The matric pupil was born on April 28 1997, and allegedly abducted from Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town two days later.

The woman she knew to be her mother would be returning to the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on charges including kidnapping next month.

The girl feared the media may reveal her true identity on her birthday, jeopardising her dream of attending university next year and creating a life outside of the spotlight.

Skelton said the urgent interdict would prevent local media houses from naming her until the court could hear Part B of the application, which would call for a proper interpretation of the provisions in the Constitution and Criminal Procedure Act that protected minors.

Should the court not be able to interpret the law, the applicants would ask it to declare a portion of the Criminal Procedure Act unconstitutional and invalid to the extent that it did not offer protection to minor victims or extend protection to those over the age of 18.

The applicants in the matter are the girl, the CCL, the National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders, and Media Monitoring Africa Trust.

All media houses in the country are listed as respondents, as well as the justice minister and national director of public prosecutions.

The application for an urgent court interdict was launched after the applicants failed to get undertakings from the majority of media not to name or identify the girl pending the outcome of Part B.

Skelton said in court papers that the girl was distressed by the media's stance and saw it as "flying pests that do not want to go away".

“Each day that goes by without this assurance compounds the trauma and anxiety that she is currently experiencing,” Skelton said in court papers.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  abduction

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