Defence lawyer Peter Daubermann's targeted attack on witness and rape survivor Cheryl Zondi has exposed detrimental flaws in SA's judicial system.
In a country where an unprecedented number of sexual and gender-based crimes are left unreported, South Africans watched in horror and dismay as Peter Daubermann, the defence lawyer for Timothy Omotoso, eviscerated Cheryl Zondi on the witness stand. Daubermann's courtroom antics are very much a microcosm of the larger flaws in the SA judicial system. Zondi alleges that Omotoso took advantage of his position of power and raped her over a period of two and a half years from the time she was 14 until she was 17. I ascribe to the notion that the accused is innocent until proven guilty, but cannot condone such treatment of victims of sexual and gender-based violence. Daubermann's stance in the courtroom has undermined the great strides that have been made by many activists in this country, both men and women, who have tirelessly campaigned for victims of such crimes to speak out.
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Nonsikelelo Ncube is the Executive Assistant at the the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Law degree from the University of South Africa and is currently pursuing her postgraduate studies