South Africa: Man accused of assaulting wife says case is designed to embarrass him

South Africa: Man accused of assaulting wife says case is designed to embarrass him

- in World News
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The son of a well-known South African lawyer who is accused of beating his wife believes that the intended private prosecution against him by AfriForum is “vexatious and unfortunate” and specifically designed to embarrass him and his family.

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AfriForum’s private prosecution unit‚ which is led by former state advocate Gerrie Nel‚ announced on Tuesday that it had taken up the case of the wife‚ who allegedly suffered six broken ribs during the alleged assault by her husband in March 2015.

The National Prosecution Authority (NPA) issued a nolle prosequi certificate on September 11 2015 to indicate they would not prosecute the alleged assault.

In a statement on Tuesday evening‚ the man’s attorney‚ Hanro Friedrich‚ said his client denied the allegations regarding domestic abuse and the version put forward by his wife and AfriForum.

Friedrich said his client had also laid a charge of assault against his wife in March 2015. He added that his client had obtained a protection order against his wife after all the evidence was presented to the Family Violence Court.

Friedrich said his client believed the intended private prosecution was “vexatious and unfortunate and specifically designed to embarrass him and his family”‚ being pursued by Afriforum and his wife “for their own vested interests‚ including an impending date in respect of their divorce where my client is the Plaintiff in the High Court”.

The couple has been married for 23 years. Divorce proceedings are under way.

The charge that Afriforum intends to try to prove is assault with the intention to do grievous bodily harm.

AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel said Afriforum believed in equality before the law and wanted to intervene in this case because they believed the prosecution against their client’s estranged husband was not pursued‚ “based on the fact that his father is a prominent figure”.

“My simple reading is that the prosecution did not go ahead because of the (alleged) perpetrator’s family ties and surname.”

Kriel also said “we have to break the silence” of violence against women‚ regardless of one’s surname.

“If you break the law‚ you have to be prosecuted.”

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