North West top prosecutor suspended following sexual offences charges
RUSTENBURG - A senior prosecutor charged with several sexual offences in North West has been suspended, the National Prosecuting Authority said on Wednesday.
Spokesperson Henry Mamothame said advocate Marcus de Beer, 45, was suspended following his arrest for alleged sexual offences committed on a minor in 2019.
"Owing to the seriousness of the case, the NPA has since served De Beer with a letter of suspension," he said.
North West police spokesperson Colonel Adele Myburgh said De Beer was arrested on Tuesday and appeared in the Lichtenburg Magistrate's Court on the same day. He was released on R10 000 bail and his case was postponed to May 17 for investigation.
Mamothame said De Beer was charged with statutory rape, sexual exploitation of children, sexual display or causing display of pornography, sexual grooming of children and sexual assault.
"It is alleged that the victim was 15 years old in 2019 when these offences were committed," he said.
He said in granting him bail, the magistrate cited his medical conditions, which were supported by a medical report from his doctor.
The magistrate further gave consideration to the fact that he had no previous conviction.
"The State and the defence agreed on strict bail conditions which include that he will not to apply for any passport, he is restrained from contacting the victim and the witnesses and he is prohibited from leaving the North West Province without the consent of the investigating officer."
He said an earlier application by the defence attorney to declare De Beer’s arrest unlawful was also dismissed by the court.
The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) in North West welcomed the suspension but said it was disappointed that the prosecutor was granted bail.
"Perpetrators of gender-based violence should not be granted bail but remain behind bars, hence our disappointment that senior prosecutor advocate Marcus de Beer was granted R10,000 bail by the Lichtenburg Magistrate's Court," said provincial chairperson Paul Sebegoe.
He said his medical record played no role in light of the charges against him.
"We have no doubt that any other accused facing similar charges would have been remanded in custody given the severity of the allegations that De Beer is facing.
"If there are citizens who are behind bars with his medical condition, then the State would have provided for him the same medical care accorded to them, as well as access to his preferred level of service while in protective custody," he said.