COMEDY OF ERRORS led to the acquittal of alleged sexual abuser Johannes Molefe at the AB Xuma Primary School, Orlando in Soweto.
This was the ruling by Judge Peet Johnson at Palm Ridge Magistrate Court on Wednesday.
Accused Molefe, a patroller at the school was acquitted of all sexual charges leveled against him in 2017, that has the community and the country at wits end.
The 58-year-old has been cleared of three counts of rape and 11 of sexual assault.
Judge Johnson said while there were suspicions that Molefe had acted inappropriately, this case was simply a ‘comedy of errors’.
The Judge also questioned the motive or role the Teddy Bear played in the case by ‘influencing or coaching the kids what to say’ that led to the ruling ‘comedy of errors’.
The filled to capacity Court room left angry and dejected parents of young girls some questioning the Judge’s motive.
Phindile Senye says the court has let down the young girls who have been affected.
“Why should the victims be penalised because of the errors that were done by the police, or whatever the case might be?”
Senye says they will be meeting with other affected parents to discuss a way forward: “We have other NGOs that have volunteered to assist in the process of appealing,” said Senye, who spoke on behalf of the affected families.
Miranda Jordan-Friedman from the activist group, Women and Men Against Child Abuse, says it’s unfortunate that the case collapsed due to poor investigations.
The Gauteng Education Department says while it accepts Wednesday’s judgment, it’s deeply disappointed.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says it’s studying a court judgment and will apply their mind thereafter.
“Each and every partner of the justice system will study the judgment, review the judge’s comment and see where we went wrong so that in the future we don’t repeat those mistakes. It’s not like it’s completely the end of the case, the NPA has an appetite to appeal the case,” says NPA spokesperson Phindi Louw-Mjonondwane.
The question is psychologically what will happen to the girls?