False claims fallout

THERE has been resolution of some sort in the case of two elderly men accused of raping and molesting children in Kenton, because charges have been withdrawn by the National Prosecuting Authority.

It is not the clear, decisive outcome most would have liked, as there was no trial and no verdict which clearly establishes guilt or innocence. But based on the evidence at hand, the NPA felt there was no case.

Such a finding means a case could be reinstated in the future, but in the meantime, there can be no further presumption of guilt – the kind of presumption that kept the accused men locked up without bail for part of last year.

Some people who were certain of the accused men’s guilt will of course feel justice has not been done. Unfortunately much of this outrage seems to have been spurred by populist agitators and racist rhetoric rather than knowledge of the facts.

Early indicators that something was amiss was that the alleged victims gave a wrong address for where one of the crimes was alleged to have occurred and could not give exact dates when the crimes occurred. There was also confusion over how many complainants there were.

The race of the alleged perpetrators and the race of the victims certainly played a part in the outrage.

Some causes more than others seem easy to rouse a rabble to march in protest. The race of the alleged perpetrators and the race of the victims certainly played a part in the outrage.

The formerly accused men must be feeling an incredible release of a burden over them. But they will probably have to deal with the stigma of the accusation for the rest of their lives, however many years are left to them.

What a terrible thing it must be to live with the accusation of rape if you are innocent.

Rape and sexual assault are an enormous problem in our country, and even here, in our area. Sitting in the court on a Monday reveals the wickedness of a weekend.

The police used to include rape reports in their crime roundups to Talk of the Town some years ago, but they stopped doing this. It is not as though rapes stopped happening, we just don’t hear about them.

In addition to the cases the police investigate, statistically, many rapes are left unreported.

With rape already being such a prevalent problem, it is doubly damning when false accusations are made.

Of the case of the two Kenton men, the NPA tellingly said: “It transpired that some of the girls had prompted the others to make false allegation[s] which further aggravated the situation.”

– Jon Houzet

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