Prosecution for Meyiwa is legal
There is nothing wrong with AfriForum's intention to assist the Senzo Meyiwa's family by initiating a private prosecution. People need to be educated about the SA criminal justice system.
SA does not follow a system of compulsory prosecution. Prosecutors' discretion is exercised when deciding whether to prosecute an individual or not, but in the event the public prosecutor refuses to prosecute, an individual may prosecute privately on the basis of a certificate nolle prosequi.
Private prosecution may be initiated only after the certificate nolle prosequi is issued. This is a legal document whereby the director of public prosecutions (DPP) acknowledges that, has examined a statement on which the charge is based and declines to prosecute at the instance of the state.
The certificate must be signed by the DPP and it lapses in three months.
Private prosecution locus standi in accordance of nolle prosequi provisio includes:
Any private person who proves substantial interest in outcome of issue arising out of an injury he personally suffered in consequences of the offence;
Husband, if offence committed in respect of wife; and
Wife, child, next of kin of deceased person.
Factors such as nature and seriousness of the offence, interests of victim and broader community, and circumstances of the offender are also considered.
AfriForum's intention does not intend to undermine the democracy or legal jurisprudence. The criminal justice system does allow private prosecution but only after the nolle prosequi certificate issued by the DPP.
As long as Meyiwa's family has a substantial interest in the outcome arising from the injury personally suffered in consequences of the offence, then private prosecution is the way.
Mogau Victor Sebatana, Mogalakwena, Limpopo
Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.