Civil rights organisation AfriForum announced this week that the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) in Gauteng made a turnabout in the case against Alexis Bizos, son of George Bizos (SC), by suddenly deciding to prosecute him after an earlier decision to let the case die a certain death.
The DPP reconsidered its decision and decided to institute prosecution against Bizos on a charge of assault on his wife after Adv. Gerrie Nel, Head of AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit and known as ‘The Bulldag’ for his reputation to never let go of his opposition, applied for a nolle prosequi certificate to enable the civil rights organisation to institute private prosecution against Bizos.
Bizos, son of the highly respected anti-apartheid activist and advocate George Bizos, broke six of the ribs of his wife, Monique van Oosterhout, when he assaulted her.
His father’s political connections
After the DPP initially decided not to prosecute Bizos, Van Oosterhout approached AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit for help. Nel subsequently indicated on 27 February 2018 that he wants to privately prosecute Bizos and requested a nolle prosequi certificate. AfriForum argued that Bizos was not prosecuted due merely to his father’s political connections and that the organisation wants to ensure that nobody is deemed above the law.
Nel welcomes the DPP’s turnabout. “It is however a pity that it was necessary to first start the private prosecution process before the DPP decided to do what was supposed to have been done from the start, and that is for Bizos to be prosecuted,” adds Nel.
According to Nel it remains first prize that the prosecuting authorities do their job and prosecute of their own accord, as will finally happen now in the Bizos case.
Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, congratulated Nel and his team on another victory that was achieved to help ensure equality before the law. “The pressure that AfriForum’s ability to privately prosecute places on the prosecuting authorities, to do their job without any prejudice, continually reaps rewards. Among others this year alone, the prosecuting authority also made a turnabout after intervention from Gerrie and his team in its decision to prosecute Duduzane Zuma and now the same happened in the case of Bizos,” Kriel pointed out.