It is said all shall be equal before the law.
But a victim of a hit-and-run incident, in which a son of a senior prosecutor was allegedly involved, does not believe so.
Masixole Jack (41) remembers vividly how, in November last year, he was struck by a vehicle allegedly driven by the son of a former acting director of public prosecutions in the Eastern Cape.
Jack told City Press that he was waiting on the yellow line to cross a street in Grahamstown (now Makhanda) when a black Corsa bakkie hit him.
The accident left him with a fractured right leg, resulting in a permanent iron bar having to be fitted to allow him mobility.
More than six months later, Jack is still waiting to face the man who caused him to lose his mobility.
“The detectives took my statement and the injury form, and informed me that they had arrested a suspect after he drove away from the accident scene. I have not heard from those detectives to this day and I was told the suspect has not even made a first appearance in court,” he said.
Jack, who is now permanently disabled and cannot stand for a long time, said his wish was that some day justice would prevail.
“The vehicle was speeding and everything happened so fast. From that day until today, I still struggle to stand for a long time and cannot drive. My life has been messed up. When I enquired about the case, I was told to go and claim from the Road Accident Fund to receive compensation as the case was closed.”
Jack said he was disappointed in the justice system and did not believe that “all are equal before the law – some are more equal than others”.
The incident had angered some Makhanda court officials who alleged that the perpetrator was getting preferential treatment because he was the son of a prosecutor.
“I know the details of this incident. Six police vans had to chase after him before he could be arrested.
"He was arrested 65km away from the accident scene, which in itself is another case of evading arrest and should have been added to the charge sheet,” said a court official, who refused to be identified.
“In another case, the same son of the senior prosecutor was arrested for assault. That case, too, was withdrawn and he did not appear in court.”
An independent check of the police case management system revealed that the charges were authentic but it did not give the outcome of the case or the dates when the suspect was due to appear in court.
Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana, spokesperson for the police, confirmed “a case of reckless and negligent driving was opened and is still under investigation”.
Kinana said the accused had appeared in court.
“A 24-year-old man was arrested and appeared in the King William’s Town Magistrates’ Court. He was released due to his medical history and was instructed to see his doctor for attention. Investigation continues and the matter is still pending at court.”
Anelisa Ngcakani, the Eastern Cape spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), said they were aware of the allegations against the senior prosecutor.
“These allegations form part of a number of others that were raised by some prosecutors in this province which prompted the NPA head office to institute an independent investigation.
“That process is proceeding. We are all waiting for its outcome. The acting director of public prosecution summoned the dockets and is also looking into the matters.”