Friday, September 26

What is wrong with the criminal justice system in South Africa? How about this?

Two mountain bikers, the brothers Lloyd (31) and Scott (30) Griffith, were arrested and jailed on Sunday 17 August 2003. They had to sleep in the Honeydew police cells on Sunday night and were released with a warning on Monday morning by the Randburg Magistrates Court.

According to their statement to the police, Lloyd and Scott were riding on Sunday morning with their mountain bikes in a field along Boundary Road in Honeydew, north of Johannesburg, when at least four men confronted them at gun point to rob them of their bicycles. Due to the number of robbery and mugging cases the cyclists and especially mountain bikers had to endure the past few months in the same area as well as a couple of other areas in Gauteng, the brothers were armed. A shootout followed between the Griffith brothers and the robbers in which one of the criminals was fatally wounded. The other criminals fled the scene.

They are appearing in court today charged with murder. The prosecutor has the option of whether to prosecute in any case. As with Deputy President Zuma the case can be dropped if it is felt there is not case. Such as a Self defence argument.

This is not the first time that people that defended themselves have been prosecuted. Two teenagers were charged with murder and successfully prosecuted for killing the man that was attacking their mother in her bed about a year ago.

The message? If you’re attacked, and your lucky enough to be able to defend yourself, don’t talk to the police. Call a lawyer. If you say anything in your defence it 'will' be used against you when you are charged. And you will be charged.


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