Well-known lawyer's son in court for alleged assault on wife

14 February 2020 - 13:37 By Nomahlubi Jordaan
A woman has been trying since 2015 to bring a case of assault against her estranged husband.
A woman has been trying since 2015 to bring a case of assault against her estranged husband.

The son of a prominent lawyer briefly appeared in the Johannesburg magistrate’s court on Friday for allegedly assaulting his wife.

He is being prosecuted privately by AfriForum’s Private Prosecutions Unit. The organisation received a certificate to prosecute the man after the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) declined to take up the case.

His case was postponed to May 4 for the private prosecution and for his legal teams to exchange documents and for a trial date to be set.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel told the court the parties had agreed on the date.

Andrew Leask, chief investigator at AfriForum’s Private Prosecutions Unit, said outside court that the organisation had decided to pursue the prosecution because it was in the interest of justice.

“We have a complainant and she has exhausted all avenues with the state to seek justice with regards to her complaint. The NPA decided not prosecute,” he said.

“She [complainant] approached us. We feel the case has merit and should be vented in a court of law, and we would dog the private prosecution on her behalf.”

He said the man's wife approached AfriForum more than a year ago after she was informed the state would not proceed with prosecution in the matter.

Asked why it was important for cases of gender-based violence to be brought to court, Leask said: “ Government has been making a lot of promises to look after the women and children who are suffering from these horrendous offences but it does not appear they are coming to the party in these matters. We are seeing that justice is played out in court”.

In December 2018, AfriForum said the wife reported she was allegedly assaulted on March 16 2015. She alleged her husband had broken six of her ribs. Nel claimed the NPA initially said the wife was a “single witness” and that the couple had made counter-allegations.

The pair became estranged after a marriage of more than two decades.

Media reports two years ago stated that the husband denied the assault.