Court manipulation and community decay leads to delayed and denied justice for Action Society victims

Action Society continued to fight for victims of sexual and violent crimes in courts around the country. However we are seeing a worrying trend of cases regarding the assault of children being withdrawn from the courts due to the mental state of the accused.

“We want to see more magistrates putting their foot down when perpetrators are manipulating the legal process. Prosecutors should also be taking a much firmer stance as these delays lead to traumatising victims even more,” said Head of Action Society’s Action Centre, Kaylynn Palm.

KHAYELITSHA REGIONAL COURT
Thimna Kuze: Found dead in a shack
Thimna Kuze, an innocent 13-year-old Khayelitsha girl, was sleeping over at a friend’s house in March this year when she was last seen alive. Her dead body was discovered the following day in a nearby shack, with blood in her nose, mouth and groin area. It is believed that she was raped before she was killed. The suspect in her murder appeared at the Khayelitsha Magistrates Court on 4 June 2024, where the matter was postponed to 3 July 2024 for legal aid once again. Action Society is frustrated with the perpetrator playing the system and wasting time.

VREDENDAL MAGISTRATES COURT:
Nadine Klaase: Strangled in her bed
The Nadine Klaase murder case continued in April 2024. Nadine was strangled to death in her bed in Vredendal North on 6 October, 2023. The suspected killer was her boyfriend at the time, and he was arrested the night her body was discovered. Her body was found with multiple scratches on her skin, she had a bloodied nose, and a shoelace was tied around her neck. The matter was heard in court on June 4, 2024 and was postponed to 26 June 2024. A decision whether the case will be heard in Regional or High court must still be made.

AMANZINTOTI REGIONAL COURT
Liezel de Jager: Murder case concluded
The murder case against Werner de Jager has been concluded following the submission of his death certificate to the court. We remain hopeful that the evidence collected during the investigation will provide Liezel’s family with the closure they need and deserve.

BELLVILLE MAGISTRATES COURT
Poppy: Raped by cousin
Poppy was playing on the trampoline at the Durbanville sports field when she was raped by her cousin on 9 November 2022. The case was heard at the Bellville Juvenile Court on 11 June but was withdrawn after the court received the psychiatric report, finding the accused unfit to stand trial.

KHAYELITSHA REGIONAL COURT
Churchgoers assaulted: 19 churchgoers raped in front congregation
The rape and sexual assault case of 19 women from Khayelitsha continued in June 2024. The victims were sexually assaulted on Easter Sunday on 26 April 2023 while preparing for the service. Two men entered the church and forced the women to undress and perform sexual acts whilst beating them. The matter was heard on 12 June 2024, where it was provisionally postponed to 20 June 2024 for the outcome of consultation.

PAARL REGIONAL COURT
Lihle Zenzile: Body stuffed in a trunk
Action Society attended the murder case of Lihle Zenzile at the Paarl Regional Court on 17 May 2024. It has been more than 500 days after the 10-year-old girl from Mbekweni in Paarl, was killed on January 6, 2023 by a close member of her family who was living in the same house with her and her family. She went missing and after a lengthy search, her killer handed himself over to the police and indicated where her body was hidden. The matter was heard in court on 13 June and the case has been postponed to 1 July 2024 for further plea negotiations.

Angela Koopman: Doused and set alight
Angela Koopman was doused in petrol and set alight by her partner on 22 March 2024. She was rushed to hospital where she eventually died from the severe burns she sustained. The accused in her murder case appeared in court on 13 June 2024, but the proceedings were postponed to 2 July 2024 for judgement on the bail application.

PAROW REGIONAL COURT
Jason Hendricks: Raped behind a bush near his school
The rape case of Jason Hendricks has been closed after the court declared the accused was unfit to stand trial and cannot be held responsible for a criminal offence. Action Society is deeply disappointed with this case, as the events of that day have deeply scared the young boy and we hoped to bring him and his family some closure.

Is there justice in SA?

At Action Society, we often see delays in the justice system. What do you think? Have you experienced this too?

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Action Society will protect and save all relevant personal information as described in the applicable legislation and shall only use such personal information for the purpose stated herein. With completing the above form you agree and confirm that Action Society may contact you in future. We thank you for your support.