Monday, 16 July 2012
Another Case of Delayed Justice
By Anrite, Extern, Defence for Children
An eight years old girl was sexually abused. The parents took the matter to the police station and it was sent to the Magistrate Court for preliminary investigations. Since it is a felony offence, the Magistrate Court does not have jurisdiction to try and proffer judgment but they conducted the preliminary investigations to determine whether there is sufficient evidence for the case to be committed to the High Court for trial.
Amazingly, after first hearing, the case took almost eleven weeks before it was heard again. This is because the Magistrate was absent without any known justification for such a long time when the fate of both victim and accused were in his hands. After reports to higher authorities, he started coming and with the help of the active participation of the young girl and other witnesses plus the medical evidence, the case was committed to High Court. That gave a little sign of relief. And though the parents were of the view that they will not have to wait long for the case to come up, it has been five months and it is quite probable that they will have to wait for twelve to eighteen months before the case comes up in the High Court. This begs the question, why the incredible delay?