Gerrie Nel goes after finance executive who allegedly raped three-year-old granddaughter
Well-known former state prosecutor Gerrie Nel is seeking to bring a private prosecution against a prominent person in the financial sector who allegedly raped his three-year-old granddaughter.
Nel is now head of private prosecutions for civic group AfriForum.
The organisation said on Thursday it has applied for a nolle prosequi certificate from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) so that it can start the private prosecution on behalf of the child. Nolle prosequi is a formal notice of abandonment of a prosecution by the NPA.
Nel told a news conference on Thursday that the alleged rape happened in the home of the victim’s grandparents just over two years ago.
Nel said the victim reported the rape to her mother and father‚ and a psychologist confirmed the sexual offences in a psycho-legal assessment.
The child also identified her grandfather as a perpetrator to her teacher.
“When the applicant first approached us‚ we were astonished that the police did not obtain the statement from the independent witnesses‚ the school teacher and the psychologist‚” said Nel.
“We wrote letters to police that statements from the teacher and the psychologist should be taken into account.”
Nel said despite AfriForum asking for these statements to be procured‚ the police refused to take these statements.
He said the NPA took the decision not to prosecute without the statement of the teacher.
“We approached the teacher. We are in possession of her version as well as the version of the psychologist and headmistress‚ who was approached by the accused and father of the victim to dismiss the teacher‚” said Nel.
He said the prosecutors he knew - if they had statements from the teacher and the psychologist - would prosecute this matter.
“I want to say if this matter received the attention it deserves‚ the prosecution would have been concluded. It happened in September 2016.”
Nel said the victim is now five years old.
“The psychologist was threatened. The victim was referred to another psychologist for another analysis and a psycho-legal report.”
Nel said because of the second report‚ a case of rape was opened against the mother.
“Police jumped into the case immediately.” However‚ there was no prosecution against the mother.
He added that police did not secure the cellphone evidence and in fact closed the docket after one month.
Nel expressed concern that the child was currently with her grandfather as her father was away on business.
“We are very concerned that as we speak‚ the mother has very limited access to her daughter. She can see the child an hour every two weeks.”
Nel‚ who cannot by law identify the alleged perpetrator‚ said AfriForum was dealing with a very prominent person in society with means to litigate.
“The victim does not have money‚” he said.