Tom Moyane, former commissioner of South African Revenue Service (SARS), appeared for the first time in the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court today in the private prosecution case against him. Adv. Gerrie Nel, Head of AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit, is prosecuting Moyane in this case. The date for Moyane’s first appearance has been set for 11 December 2019 on the conditions that Moyane has no contact with the victim or her mother, as well as him not discussing the case with his son, who is a compellable witness.
AfriForum’s Private Prosecuting Unit is privately prosecuting Tom Moyane on behalf of Lerato Maila on charges of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, as well as malicious damage to property with regard to her cell phone. Maila is the mother of Moyane’s grandchild and was in a relationship with Moyane’s son at the time of the alleged incident.
According to Maila, Moyane assaulted her on 14 May 2018 at his house in Roodepoort, Gauteng, by pushing her around and kicking her in the face. Moyane also smashed her cell phone against the wall before the alleged attack when he realised that she had been recording him. Maila phoned her mother immediately after the alleged attack, who told her to lay charges at the Honeydew police station. The National Prosecuting Authorirty (NPA) decided not to prosecute Moyane, however, because according to them there wasn’t enough evidence.
“The NPA’s failure to prosecute Moyane is a violation of its constitutional duty to strive for justice. In fact, it took the NPA merely nine days to make this decision, without even consulting the victim. The level of violence against women in this country is unacceptable and the fact that no action was taken against Moyane immediately (despite a prima facie case against him) leaves victims of violence in the lurch,” says Adv. Elijah Mamabolo, Prosecutor at AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit.
“As long as high-ranking government officials evade prosecution due to their political influence, there cannot be equality before the law. Private prosecution of Moyane is in the interest of broader society. Nobody should be above the law, which is why the counterbalance of a private prosecution unit is so important,” says Natasha Venter, Campaign Official at AfriForum.