Editorial: Missed opportunity by Prosecutor’s OfficePOSTED: 08/29/14 2:39 AM
The prosecutor’s office missed a golden opportunity to save its reputation when it announced yesterday that is has appealed the verdict in the Masbangu-case. On Monday, four defendants accused of election fraud walked out of the courthouse without a sentence because the court declared the prosecution inadmissible. The word class justice the court used in its ruling now hangs as a dark cloud over the prosecutor’s office.
By just appealing the verdict and not announcing that there will be an investigation after all into the role of the United People’s party and its leader Theo Heyliger, it seems like the prosecutor’s office is digging in its heels – and some would be tempted to say that it is sticking its collective heads in the sand.
Justice Minister Dennis Richardson’s initiative to approach the Law Enforcement Council for an investigation into this matter is an excellent one. However, no matter what the result of such a probe will be, the class justice-stigma is etched in the psyche of the population, and it will stay there for a very long time.
There is still the option though to change course and announce an investigation into the UP and its leader. As things stand now, the prosecutor’s office, all suspects, plus the UP and its leader are in some sort of integrity-limbo. The sooner this whole matter is cleared up the better it is for everyone.