- A man, who killed a newly engaged couple in car crash in 2017 while drunk, has been sentenced to eight years in jail.
- This after he appeared in the Pretoria Regional Court on Thursday morning.
- Malele pleaded guilty after the Private Prosecution Unit became involved after the docket had gone missing.
An eight-year sentence was handed down to a man who crashed into another car while drunk nearly five years ago in Gauteng, killing a young, engaged couple.
Andrew Kagiso Malele, who pleaded guilty to culpable homicide, appeared in the Pretoria Regional Court on Thursday morning.
Malele suffered minor injuries.
The incident happened on the N4 when the couple, who had become engaged three weeks earlier, was returning to Pretoria from White River.
According AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit communications manager, Barry Bateman, Malele only pleaded guilty after the unit became involved because the docket had, according to the State, gone missing.
“AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit worked closely with Colonel Werner Everson from the Silverton detective branch and Sergeant Piet Ferreira from the Sinoville detective branch to recompile the docket so that the accused could be prosecuted.
In court on Thursday, Bateman said, Malele’s defence counsel asked the court to impose a sentence of correctional supervision, while the State proposed imprisonment of five years.
He added both proposals were rejected by magistrate Kallie Bosch who deemed them inappropriate.
He added the victim impact statements proved how traumatised the deceased’s family was and the court had a duty to send a message to perpetrators of such a crime.
Malele’s drivers licence was cancelled and he was sentenced to eight years in prison for culpable homicide and three years for drunk driving. The sentences will run concurrently.
The family of the young couple welcomed the sentence.
Ruan’s mother, Ursula Kors, said she was overwhelmed by what had happened in court but was grateful the sentence exceeded her expectations.
Kors added she could finally find closure.
She said despite the families’ challenges with the case and the docket going missing, respective role-players in the case showed perseverance as they dedicated their time to ensure the docket could be reassembled completely.
“Our justice system is part of our society’s functioning … a docket that goes missing and a case that dragged for five years is a sign of a problem. We are thankful for advocate Gerrie Nel, AfriForum’s legal team, and everyone who made this possible.”
Jessika’s brother, Patrick Kennedy, said regardless of the number of years given, it would have been either too much or too little, adding at the end of the day, the message sent was more significant than the sentence.
He extended his gratitude towards Bosch, stating how the magistrate prioritised the case and took a strong stance against what happened.
Nel, who heads the unit, said they were satisfied there was finality five years after the young couple was killed.
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“The case would never have been enrolled in court if it was not for the involvement of the Private Prosecution Unit.
“This is yet another example of the failure of the criminal justice system. Most concerning is that the docket had gone missing.
“This is simply unacceptable, but it is something the unit is seeing far too often in cases where it appears the accused person is being shielded from prosecution,” he added.
Nel said the affected families could now have some sense of closure and focus on moving forward.