Vindication For Prejudiced Client In The Palmridge Magistrates’ Court

BDK Attorneys received instructions to represent an accused in a matter concerning the contravention of a Protection Order in terms of the Domestic Violence Act 16 of 1998. This matter was referred to BDK Attorneys by another firm and, given the circumstances of the client and the matter, BDK Attorneys agreed to accept the instruction on a pro bono basis.

The accused in this matter was a mother of one, the second child (a minor son) having passed away under suspicious circumstances following an assault by the child’s biological father.

Subsequent to the death of her son, our client visited family in another province to grieve the death of her son.

Upon her return to Gauteng, she was escorted to the local police station by her husband, who proceeded to assault her in full view of members of the South African Police Service, before being served with a Protection Order in terms of the Domestic Violence Act 16 of 1998, without the contents thereof being explained to her. A provision of the Protection Order was that our client was not permitted to return to her home.

Not understanding that she was contravening the Protection Order, not having any alternative housing for her and her son and having no income, our client proceeded to the matrimonial home, out of necessity, as all her and her son’s personal belongings were still at her home.

Our client was then charged with the contravention of the said Protection Order, the contents and consequence of which had still not been explained to her.

As a result of the Protection Order our client was effectively evicted from her home, left homeless and forced to take refuge in a shelter with her minor son.

The State failed to fully consider the contents of the docket before instituting the prosecution against our client, as several inconsistencies existed in the statements, particularly in the complainant’s statement who perjured himself.

Representations to the State to withdraw the matter were initially refused but were escalated to the Chief Prosecutor and later the Director of Public Prosecutions. Despite the inconsistencies being pointed out and the State being informed of the lack of a case that there was against our client, the State refused to withdraw the charges.

Only on the day of trial did the State finally came to their senses and withdraw the prosecution against our client. Regrettably, this was after months of attending to Court, our client having to face the person responsible for her son’s death and representations being submitted and escalated.

BDK Attorneys is also pleased that, since BDK’s involvement in the matter, prosecution has been instituted against the suspect for the death of our client’s son.

BDK Attorneys is committed to protecting our clients’ interests and rights and we remain determined to defend the underdog and will not buckle at the hands of the State.


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