Swemmer & Levin

Vredenburg & Velddrif: 022 713 2221
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Saldanha & Langebaan: 022 714 2244

Lede van die publiek, en spesifiek slagoffers of diegene na aan hulle, voel dikwels moedeloos as dit kom by die Nasionale Vervolgingsgesag (NVG) en hul besluite om nié persone wat na bewering ’n kriminele oortreding gepleeg het, te vervolg nie. Die Strafproseswet (CPA) bevat egter twee artikels waarop staatgemaak kan word om die NVG te omseil, deur persone wat na bewering kriminele dade gepleeg het, privaat te vervolg. Hierdie afdelings is onlangs in die kollig geplaas danksy die suksesvolle private vervolging van Faizel Hendricks, wat in Januarie 2022 skuldig bevind is aan die moord op sy lewensmaat, Rochelle Naidoo, in 2005. Dit is die eerste keer dat ‘n beskuldigde skuldig bevind word nadat hy privaat vervolg is.

Die eerste afdeling wat die terme uiteensit waarin ‘n persoon privaat vervolg kan word, word in artikel 7 van die CPA gevind, waar dit bepaal dat ‘n individu verrigtinge kan instel indien ‘n sertifikaat deur ‘n prokureur-generaal uitgereik is wat bevestig dat die NVG nie van plan is om die vermeende misdadiger te vervolg nie. Hierdie sertifikaat staan ​​ook bekend as ‘n nolle prosequi-sertifikaat. Artikel 7(1) van die CPA bepaal die volgende:

“(1) In ‘n geval waar ‘n prokureur-generaal weier om weens ‘n beweerde misdryf te vervolg kan-

(a) ‘n private persoon wat by die geskil in die verhoor ‘n wesenlike en besondere belang bewys wat uit benadeling ontstaan wat hy persoonlik ten gevolge van die pleging van bedoelde misdryf gely het;

(b) ‘n eggenoot, indien bedoelde misdryf ten opsigte van sy eggenote gepleeg is;

(c) die eggenote of kind of, indien daar geen eggenote of kind is nie, ‘n naasbestaande van ‘n oorledene, indien die oorledene se dood na bewering deur bedoelde misdryf veroorsaak is; of

(d) die wettige voog of kurator van ‘n minderjarige of kranksinnige, indien bedoelde misdryf teen sy pupil gepleeg is,

behoudens die bepalings van artikel 9, hetsy persoonlik of deur ‘n regsverteenwoordiger, ‘n vervolging ten opsigte van so ‘n misdryf instel en voortsit in ‘n hof wat bevoeg is om daardie misdryf te bereg.”

Die tweede is artikel 8 van die CPA, wat voorsiening maak dat ‘n private vervolging kragtens ‘n statutêre reg ingestel kan word. Artikel 8(1) lees soos volg:

“(1) ‘n Liggaam of persoon aan wie die reg uitdruklik deur ‘n wet verleen word om ten opsigte van ‘n misdryf te vervolg, kan ‘n vervolging ten opsigte van daardie misdryf instel en voortsit in ‘n hof wat bevoeg is om daardie misdryf te bereg.”

Artikel 8(2) bepaal verder dat private vervolging kragtens hierdie artikel slegs ingestel kan word na oorleg met die prokureur-generaal, en slegs indien die prokureur-generaal sy/haar reg om te vervolg, ten opsigte van enige bepaalde misdryf of bepaalde kategorie van misdrywe, teruggetrek het. Private vervolgings kragtens artikel 8 kan deur natuurlike of regspersone gedoen word en vereis nie ‘n sertifikaat soos bedoel in artikel 7 van die CPA nie.

Hendricks is ingevolge artikel 7 van die CPA vervolg toe Rochelle Naidoo se ouers aksie ingestel het nadat die Kaapstadse distrikshof tydens sy geregtelike doodsondersoek in 2008 bevind het dat daar nie vasgestel kon word wie die vuurwapen vasgehou het op die noodlottige oomblik toe Rochelle Naidoo geskiet is nie (Hendricks het beweer dat sy selfmoord gepleeg het). Die DOV het geweier om te vervolg en Rochelle se ouers het daarna verrigtinge in die Malmesbury-streekhof aanhangig gemaak, waar Hendricks in Julie 2014 skuldig bevind is aan moord en tot 15 jaar gevangenisstraf gevonnis is. Hendricks het teen die uitspraak geappelleer, maar was onsuksesvol in sy appèl aangesien die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof die skuldigbevinding en vonnis in Januarie 2022 bevestig het.

Dit is duidelik uit artikels 7 en 8 van die CPA, sowel as mnr. Hendricks se skuldigbevinding, dat geregtigheid deur slagoffers en/of hul gesinne verkry kan word in omstandighede waar die NVG besluit om nié ‘n persoon wat na bewering kriminele dade gepleeg het, te vervolg nie. Hierdie geregtigheid is egter nie vinnig of bekostigbaar as ‘n mens die formaliteite wat nagekom moet word en die beskuldigde se reg om te appelleer, in ag neem nie. Dit kan aansienlike vertragings veroorsaak vir die persone wat die private vervolging instel, asook hoë regskoste (wat deskundige getuies se fooie, soos patoloë en ballistiese kundiges, insluit en normaalweg deur die staat betaal sou word). Die private vervolging van Faizel Hendricks bevestig dit aangesien dit die Naidoo-familie 10 jaar geneem het om hierdie saak te finaliseer om geregtigheid te bereik. Yusuf Asmall, Rochelle se pa, het die hoë finansiële en persoonlike koste verbonde aan hierdie aangeleentheid bevestig toe hy gesê het dat dit ’n pynlike reis en ’n duur affêre was.

Ten slotte bied die CPA wel moontlike weë vir slagoffers en hul gesinne om geregtigheid te bereik in omstandighede waar die NVG besluit om nie vervolging in te stel nie. Hierdie weë is egter slegs beskikbaar vir diegene wat betekenisvolle hulpbronne en tyd tot hul beskikking het, en is dus slegs verkrygbaar vir ‘n uitgesoekte groep Suid-Afrikaners.

 Bronnelys:

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

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Jan Fourie

Director |  Attorney, Notary & Conveyancer | BA. LLB

Jan graduated in 1974 with a five-year BA LLB degree from the University of Stellenbosch, whereafter he was admitted as an advocate and prosecuted as such in the Cape Town and Wynberg Courts. In 1974, he joined Swemmer & Levin as the Candidate Attorney of Mr Levin (founding member) and was admitted as an attorney on 7 April 1976, as a conveyancer on 11 January 1978, and as a Notary on 19 December 1984. Since 1974, he has served in various committees, including the West Coast Chamber of Commerce, the Vredenburg School Committee, and the Malgas Lions Club. 

Furthermore, Jan was the author of the first bilingual law book, The New Debt Collecting Procedures (Die Nuwe Skuldinvorderingsprosedures), which was used by all the Magistrate Courts throughout South Africa. With the founding of the Small Claims Court in Vredenburg, Jan served as one of the first Commissioners. He is currently based at Swemmer & Levin’s Vredenburg office and has been with our firm for more than 47 years.

Pieter Smit

Director | Attorney & Conveyancer | BA. LLB

Pieter obtained his BA Law degree from Stellenbosch University in 1995 and his LLB degree from the North-West University in Potchefstroom in 1998. He served his articles at Marais Muller Attorneys from 1998 to 1999 and was admitted as an attorney in 2000 and as a conveyancer in 2002. Pieter is the founder of PP Smit Attorneys, which opened its doors in 2004. He also became a director of Swemmer & Levin in 2006. Pieter loves the outdoors and participating in all forms of sport, including tennis, golf, fishing, spearfishing, scuba diving, and hiking. 

Johann Maree

Director | Attorney | BA. LLB

Johann matriculated at Oudtshoorn High School and attended Stellenbosch University, where he obtained his BA Law and LLB degrees. Following his studies, he worked for three years as State Prosecutor at the Magistrate’s Court in Cape Town. Johann completed his legal training with the State Attorney in Pretoria and then moved to his hometown, Oudtshoorn, where he worked as a lawyer for a year. In 1983, he finally moved to Vredenburg and joined Swemmer & Levin, where he is still practising as a director. When he is not in the office, Johann enjoys cycling and in his earlier days, he used to be a long-distance junkie.

Richard Phillips

Director | Attorney | Bcom & BProc

After matriculating at Paarl Boys’ High School, Richard completed his BCom and BProc degrees at the University of Port Elizabeth. He served his articles with Van Wyk Fouchee in Paarl and quickly developed an affinity for litigation. Richard has always had a deep love for the ocean and when he was presented with an opportunity to join Swemmer & Levin on the West Coast, he agreed without hesitation and has been with our firm since 1997. Richard specialises in general litigation and divorces. When he is not in the office or with his family, he tries to spend as much time as possible in or on the water.

Jandré Smith

Director | Attorney | LLB

Jandré grew up and matriculated in the small Klein Karoo town of Oudtshoorn. He furthered his studies at the North-West University in Potchefstroom, obtaining his LLB degree during 2015. He completed his articles at Swemmer & Levin in 2017 and was subsequently appointed as a professional assistant. In 2020, Jandré was promoted to the position of director at the firm, where he practises in the Litigation department at our Langebaan office. When not practising law, Jandré is an avid sports fan. He has a passion for nature and enjoys camping, trail running, and mountain biking with his family.

Andre van der Walt

Director | Attorney | LLB

Andre graduated in 2015 with an LLB degree from the University of Pretoria. He later went on to obtain his NQF 7 Certificate in the Administration of Deceased Estates from the University of South Africa, which allowed him to further his career in deceased estates and the drafting of wills and trusts. Andre served his articles at Barnard & Patel Attorneys under the supervision of Mr YAS Patel. After being admitted as an attorney in 2016, he continued working at Barnard & Patel Attorneys as a professional assistant in the deceased estates department.

Andre joined Van Rensburg Attorneys in 2019 and was head of the deceased estates department until 2021. He then received the opportunity to move to the West Coast, where he joined Swemmer & Levin Attorneys. Andre loves travelling and enjoys the beauty that our country has to offer with his friends, family, and loved ones.

Harmann Potgieter

Attorney | LLB

Harmann graduated in 2018 with an LLB degree from the North-West University’s Potchefstroom Campus. He went on to study and grow in various fields, including doing a course on the Consumer Protection Act and a course at the University of South Africa where he obtained his NQF 7 Certificate in the Administration of Deceased Estates.

Harmann completed his articles of clerkship at Swemmer & Levin under the supervision of Mr Richard Phillips. After being admitted as an attorney in 2020, Harmann continued with Swemmer & Levin as a professional assistant in the deceased estates department as well as the litigation department. He loves to study, possesses a deep curiosity about the world, and is dedicated to giving back to the community.

Carla Cloete

Attorney, Conveyancer & Notary | LLB

Carla obtained her LLB at the North West University, Potchefstroom Campus in 2015. She completed her articles in 2017 with Brits Dreyer Inc in Bellville. She is an admitted Attorney, Notary and Conveyancer. After her articles she relocated to Kimberley where she worked as a professional assistant in the Conveyancing department of Van de Wall Inc. Coming back to her Western Cape roots, she now joins the Swemmer & Levin team as a professional assistant.