Pretoria - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has made an about turn, resolving to prosecute Alexis Bizos - the son of world-renowned human rights advocate George Bizos - for allegedly physically assaulting his wife Monique van Oosterhout in March 2015, lobby group AfriForum said on Wednesday.
AfriForum, through its head of private prosecution team led by former State prosecutor Gerrie Nel represents Van Oosterhout. Nel had sought a nolle prosequi certificate to allow for the private prosecution of Alexis.
“It is however a pity that it was necessary to first start the private prosecution process before the DPP [Director of Public Prosecutions] decided to do what was supposed to have been done from the start, and that is for Bizos to be prosecuted,” said Nel.
Nel said it remained "first prize" for the NPA to prosecute Bizos in this case.
A letter dated December 13, from Gauteng Division's Director of Public Prosecutions Advocate Andrew Chauke, stated that he decided to "reconsider" the decision not to prosecute Bizos.
"I have decided to reconsider my initial decision and to institute a prosecution against Mr Bizos for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm ..." reads part of Chauke's letter to Nel.
In February, AfriForum CEO, Kallie Kriel, told journalists that the NPA did not prosecute Alexis Bizos for allegedly assaulting his wife of 23 years, simply because of the respected family name.
“Monique [Alexis Bizos’s wife] has been assisted on several occasions. The one [incident] we are taking now is an incident which happened on the 16th of March 2015, where she unfortunately broke six ribs during the assault,” said Kriel.
“Alexis was arrested but later the NPA decided not to prosecute, even irrespective of the evidence that was available. My conclusion is the prosecution did not go ahead because of the perpetrator’s family ties and his surname. That is why we have now started with the process of private prosecution against Mr Bizos.”
At the time, Nel also said a nolle prosequi certificate is issued for a limited period of three months, so the one initially issued by the NPA in 2015 has become obsolete.
African News Agency/ANA