Lying in the Sun

Prosecutor's Role

Prosecutor's Role


Before I get to Paragraph 38..

M’Lady it has become quite fashionable for the accused people... for accused people, who find themselves in a quandary and unable to deal with the evidence against them , to blame the State.  The State was unethical.  The State did not call all the witneses.  The State should have called all the witnesses.

Now that happens - and I talk - from my own experience M’Lady – in almost every case.  But it gives me an opportunity to quote from a very good Judgement, that is just a pleasure to read and it's
 ….V ….      (apologies could not make out the names)

M’Lady I’ll hand…I’ve copies available if I could hand them out?

And I quote M’Lady:

‘In our practice it is not the function of a Prosecutor disinterestedly to place a hotch potch of contradictory evidence before Court and then leave the Court to make of it, what it will. 

On the contrary, it's the obligation of a Prosecutor, firmly, but fairly and dispassionately to construct and present the case from what appears to be critical evidence, and to challenge the evidence of the accused and other Defence witnesses with a view of discrediting such evidence for the very purpose of obtaining a conviction.  This is the essence of a Prosecutors function in an adversarial system and it is not peculiar to SA.’

May I then also M’Lady refer to Paragraph 12

And that is Page 35

‘When the accused is represented, it is not the function of a Prosecutor as suggested by the appellant’s attorney to call evidence which is destructive of the State case or which advances the case of the Defence.  The Prosecutor – and I think brilliantly put M’Lady – the Prosecutor is not obliged to play chess against him, or himself.’ 

M’Lady might I also refer to Page 37?

‘It, is 18 lines from the bottom of the page M’Lady.

‘It would therefore for example, not be necessary for a Prosecutor to draw attention to a specific witnesses' statement favourable to the accused in the dossier made available to the Defence - for he who runs may read.'

M’Lady, so…in all the arguments, the State not having called all the witnesses that we had available, that is the current law in South Africa.  That is the Supreme Court of Appeal’s view of how a Prosecutor should deal with a case.  Especially M’Lady, and there’s lots in that case where an accused is defended.  Where an accused is undefended, I agree M’Lady, there is a bigger onus on an accused…on a Prosecutor, but not where an accused is defended.
7th August 2014

Website Builder