Progress in case of army member ‘deliberately spreading’ HIV

Henry

The trial of the 45-year-old former member of the South African National Defense Force (SDF) was adjourned on Wednesday until April for closing arguments.

The accused is facing charges of attempted murder and rape after allegedly deliberately infecting the complainant in this case, Antoinette Ndishishi, with HIV. The accused knew he had this virus, but concealed this fact. AfriForum’s private prosecution unit represents Ndishishi in this case.

The identity of the accused is being withheld as the charges against him are related to his health – the trial will take place in camera.

Ndishishi attended the proceedings today. The magistrate asked her to explain various aspects of her testimony.

She says that this trial has taken its toll – the trial started in March 2022. “I want him to be found guilty and sentenced. This case must now be finalized. The trial lasted a long time and I was emotionally exhausted. It is not fun to go to court, but AfriForum and my family are very supportive,” says Ndishishi.

The accused and the complainant were both members of the SANW at the time of the alleged incident.

The private prosecution unit became involved in this case in 2018 and put pressure on the SANW to make the accused’s medical reports, which also contained information about his HIV status, available to them. These reports date back as far as 2007.

“The SANW refused to make these reports available which led to the National Prosecuting Authority having to withdraw the case twice,” explains Barry Bateman, spokesperson for the unit. “Without the private prosecution unit’s entry and continued pressure on the SANW, the dossier would not have contained sufficient evidence to finally prosecute the accused.”

The case was adjourned until April 16.