The rape trial that started in 2013 was postponed again. The reason for it was the judge complaining about a faulty air conditioner. George Riedewaan, 54, was charged with raping two sisters aged 8 and 9, and two other girls who are cousins, aged 10 and 11.
“For the case to be postponed again because of air-conditioning is frustrating and infuriating because as a parent, it’s difficult, but you have to be strong for your children.” mother of two victim girls. “This will be the seventh year that this case is continuing and my children and the other two girls have to relive what they experienced again and again.”
The mother of the two voiced her displeasure, expressing concern over the trial postponed again.
The case has been put off on several occasions since its opening in 2013.
Meanwhile, the sisters and their family have been receiving psychological assistance for the last seven years in a rehabilitation center.
According to Riedewaan George’s process agent, William Booth, the magistrate has ruled that the conditions in court were not appropriate for the children to testify.
“Children under the age of 18 testify next door in a closed circuit court via TV and the magistrate decided that the witness could not be expected to testify, as it was 30ºC on Friday.”
“The witness had on previous occasion also struggled to testify and the case had to be postponed and to then be cross-examined in such conditions would be intolerable,” he said.
“We have asked the Public Works to urgently give us progress on their current installation of the entire air-cons of Cape Town, since last year. They have promised to respond to us by tomorrow (today),” said Department of Justice and Constitutional Development provincial head advocate Hishaam Mohamed.
“The courtroom air-conditioning system needs to be repaired,” according to Department senior manager Nomalanga Kani statement. The organization providing repair services did not receive the spare parts needed in time and had to postpone the works.