Why it is important to ensure children are prepared for a court appearance
The court judgment in the AB Xuma Primary School case has raised questions around preparing children who have to testify in court.
On Wednesday, former scholar patroller Johannes Molefe was acquitted of all charges against him.
Judge Peet Johnson found the State had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Molefe had sexually abused young girls from the school.
He said the case was riddled with errors and suggested the Teddy Bear Clinic had coached the children. Clinic director, Dr Shaheda Omar, denied this.
Chief social worker at Women and Men Against Child Abuse, Nonhlanhla Biyase, says preparing children for court eases their anxiety.
It is a very anxiety provoking situation, so if the child is at ease then they will be a credible witness and then there could be a possibility of achieving justice for them.Nonhlanhla Biyase, chief social worker at Women and Men Against Child Abuse
Outside the court, we do a basic test that is called a truth or lie test. We go through different questions, different visual techniques to assist if they really understand the concept of truth or lie. It depends on the age of the child.Nonhlanhla Biyase, chief social worker at Women and Men Against Child Abuse
Over and above, there are other things that we test to see if the child will be able to cope in court or not.Nonhlanhla Biyase, chief social worker at Women and Men Against Child Abuse
Biyase says this also gives the child an idea of what to expect.
Click on the link below to listen to the full conversation....
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