IFP Justice spokesperson, Mr Koos van der Merwe commented on the
acquittal of Mr Albert Mncwango today in the High Court of Appeals
Mr van der Merwe said:
"The truth has finally surfaced. Mr Mncwango's
ordeal of almost five years is over; he can now proudly take his
seat in parliament and resume his important duties in the IFP."
"Two judges of the High Court today held that the magistrate was
wrong to convict Mr Mncwango. Their judgment was not based on any
technical issue but on the fact that the evidence of the complainant
"The IFP was convinced from the beginning that the rape charge
was a false and malicious one and that Mr Mncwango was innocent.
Mr Mncwango's lawyers pointed out that the magistrate had seriously
misdirected herself in several respects. She had convicted Mr Mncwango
on the evidence of only one witness whose evidence was not only
unreliable but directly contradicted by other witnesses. One witness
declared under oath that the complainant had asked her to lie about
the alleged rape incident. Her evidence was not challenged and therefore
"The magistrate however ignored these extremely serious facts and
accepted the false evidence of the lying complainant."
"The fact that the magistrate had refused Mr Mncwango the right
to appeal is further proof of her judicial incompetency. In addition
she was so certain she was right, that she even refused Mr Mncwango
bail and he had to spend time in jail awaiting the outcome of an
urgent petition to the Judge President, which was granted."
"Today two High Court judges, one a woman, rejected the magistrate's
conviction of Mr Mncwango and set aside the ten year sentence of
imprisonment. Mr Mncwango is therefore a free man."
"Mr Mncwango's lawyers are now studying the High Court judgment
with a view to reporting the magistrate to the Magistrate's Commission
to investigate whether she is a fit and proper person to act as
"This judgment by the High Court also serves as a reminder to the
media and others not to condemn a person before he or she has not
fully exhausted all legal options."
For further information contact: Mr Koos van der Merwe 082 444