AfriForum has withdrawn private prosecution of prominent businessman accused of child rape - NPA

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in Gauteng says it has learnt that lobby group AfriForum has withdrawn its private prosecution of a prominent businessman who allegedly raped his three-year-old granddaughter.

The head of AfriForum's private prosecutions unit, advocate Gerrie Nel, was due to prosecute the man in what would have been the lobby group's first private prosecution.

This, after the NPA declined to prosecute in the matter, citing that there was no prospect of it being successful. It also stated that the evidence contained in the docket was not sufficient to constitute a prima facie case.

READ: Nel, Roux face off in AfriForum's first private prosecution

The NPA issued the group with a certificate confirming it was declining the prosecution (nolle prosequi certificate). The handing over of the certificate enabled the child's mother to privately prosecute the grandfather on counts of rape and sexual assault.

"The NPA has since learnt that AfriForum withdrew this prosecution on 12 September 2019, citing that the mother does not want to continue with the prosecution.

"The silence of AfriForum, after abandoning one of their private prosecutions, comes as no surprise as they have since realised that the decision of the National Prosecuting Authority not to institute criminal proceedings in that matter was valid," NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said.

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Mjonondwane said the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was of the view that AfriForum had encountered the same hurdles, which affirmed the NPA's stance on the matter.

When News24 contacted AfriForum for comment, the group said a court order prohibited it from speaking on the matter.