UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

 

MURDER OF SEVENTH PAGAD WITNESS RAISES SERIOUS QUESTIONS

STATEMENT ISSUED BY ANNELIZÉ VAN WYK, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON FOR SAFETY AND SECURITY

The assassination of Mr Mogamat Zaid Abrahams raises serious questions of concern over the effectiveness of the witness protection programme.  As with the death of the Enous couple in Gouda, December last year, now again witnesses have complained about the programme.  The knee-jerk reaction that those under the witness protection programme do not follow the rules of the programme cannot be the automatic answer spit out with every similar incident.

A serious evaluation of the programme identifying the weaknesses and highlighting areas for improvement needs to be done as a matter of urgency.  The criminal justice system will only be successful if it works as a unit and it will be as effective as the weakest link in the system.  At this stage one of the weak links appear to be with the witness protection programme.

The comment by Mr Chris MacAdam, deputy director of public prosecutions, that the murder of Mr Abrahams will not weaken the state’s case against the accused in the Staggie murder is surprising.  The state, in prosecuting members of PAGAD for urban terror attacks, have a very low success rate and most of the accused were found guilty on lesser charges.

 

Enquiries:
Annelizé van Wyk, MP
UDM Spokesperson for Safety and Security

Cape Town
10 April 2001