Buyisiwe was gang raped in 2005. The case has been postponed, struck from the roll and most recently set aside mostly due to the bungling by the criminal justice system.
During this time, Buyisiwe has been intimidated and at times been in hiding. The matter has now been set down afresh at the High Court for March 2009. Buyisiwe will now have to provide evidence and undergo cross-examination for the second time!
Timeline on Buyisiwe's case: Judge for yourself
2 October 2005: Buyisiwe is allegedly gang raped by 8 young men
3 October 2005: Buyisiwe reports the rape to the police, undergoes the medico-legal examination by the district surgeon. 7 suspects are arrested
7 December 2005: Bail is denied to all accused. Accused are taken into custody. Matter postponed for trial.
31 March 2006: Court is adjourned to the 12 June 2006 due to missing documents – including the complainant and 3rd witness’ statements
12 June 2006: Matter is struck from the court roll, accused released from custody as a result of the police docket and two accused not being present in court. The complainant takes refuge in a shelter for abused women due to threats and fear for her safety.
End July 2006: The application for reinstatement is made at the Johannesburg High Court with the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.
29 November 2006: The matter is finally reinstated in Tembisa Court and transferred to the Wynberg Sexual Offences Court. The accused are not rearrested.
14 December 2006: The matter is before the Wynberg Court, and is postponed for further investigation and for the missing statements to be retaken.
28 February 2007: The case is postponed for further investigation, as the missing statements have still not been taken.
10 May 2007: The matter is finally set down for trial for the 18 and 19 July 2007. This is despite the fact that the docket is still not closed.
18 July 2007: The complainant gives evidence in chief and begins the gruelling cross-examination. Two of the accused are unable to be in court for the 19 July due to them needing to be in court on another charge, consequently the matter is postponed.
16 August 2007: Buyisiwe completes cross-examination. Court is adjourned until 8 November 2007 for reasons not given other than availability of the prosecutor and space on the court roll.
8 November 2007: ‘First report’ and the second witness testify and are cross-examined. Warrant of arrest issued for eyewitness. Trial remanded to 31 January 2008.
31 January 2008: Medical doctor – not the doctor who conducted the medical examination –testifies and is cross-examined. The officer who arrested some of the accused testifies and is cross-examined. The eyewitness testifies. Remanded to 3 April 2008.
3 April 2008: Trial did not resume, defence attorney ill. Remanded to 18 June 2008.
18 June 2008: Trial did not resume, defence attorney not present in court. No explanation given. Remanded to 24 July 2008.
24 July 2008: Trial did not resume, defence attorney not present in court. No explanation given. Remanded to 13 August 2008.
13 August 2008: The matter is set aside because the defence attorney has not been registered with the law society as a practicing lawyer since 2004.The magistrate rules that the matter must be heard afresh. This means that the complainant and the witnesses who have already testified must give evidence again. The matter is set down for 8 September 2008 for legal representation to be appointed for the accused.
8 September 2008: The Wynberg Sexual Offences Court transfers the matter to the Johannesburg High Court. The matter is set down for trial between 2 – 13 March 2009.
2 March 2009: No judge available to hear matter. Case postponed to 27th July 2009.
A mass protest will take place at:
Pritchard Street, Johannesburg High Court
Friday, 6 March 2009