Sharing Dros rape video and naming suspect is unlawful, warns legal expert

Criminal law expert Ulrich Roux has urged South Africans to allow justice to take its course in the Dros restaurant rape case.

A 20-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the rape of a 7-year-old girl at a Dros restaurant in Pretoria last weekend.

Read more: Dros rape: Reflecting on media law and ethics

Many people have been naming the alleged suspect involved in the Dros rape case on social media.

Some have also been distributing a disturbing video which allegedly depicts the naked man after the incident.

Roux explains that naming the suspect and disseminating the video is unlawful in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act.

According to Roux, those sharing the footage and personal information could be charged with obstruction of justice.

He says a suspect needs to be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a competent court, not on social media or in the court of public opinion.

Also read: Dros rape: 'He was sitting near the kid's play area...he had his eye on her'

We cannot find him guilty based on a video that circulated on social media. Proper evidence must be led and he must be given the opportunity to defend himself and then an objective judge must evaluate all the evidence.

Ulrich Roux, criminal defence attorney

The people should be wary and should not be passing [the video] on.

Ulrich Roux, criminal defence attorney

In an instance where a person is accused of having committed a sexual offence, and there is a minor involved, then the name of the accused person as well as the victim cannot be made public until the person pleads either guilty or not guilty in an oath.

Ulrich Roux, criminal defence attorney

Yes. Whoever published that [personal information] has acted in an unlawful manner and they could very well be charged with obstruction of justice.

Ulrich Roux, criminal defence attorney

That video could very well be manipulated and altered... Mob justice can take place and the alleged perpetrator could be assaulted.

Ulrich Roux, criminal defence attorney

We cannot live in a society where mob justice and so-called kangaroo court take preference.

Ulrich Roux, criminal defence attorney

The NPA and the police are the police are there to investigate alleged crimes and to prosecute. We should leave it up to them to do that.

Ulrich Roux, criminal defence attorney

We cannot find people guilty on social media and in the court of public opinion and, in so doing, possibly prejudice the State and the police in trying to prove their cases when there has been an offence such as this.

Ulrich Roux, criminal defence attorney

VIDEO: EWN reports on the latest

Listen to the discussion on The John Maytham Show:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Sharing Dros rape video and naming suspect is unlawful, warns legal expert


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