Justice system fails David Olyne again

David Olyne

David Olyne

The mother of gay hate victim David Olyne left court last Wednesday still not knowing the fate of his killer.

Failures in the justice system have meant that the sentencing of his murderer, Christo Oncke, has been delayed for the fourth time.

Oncke was found guilty in January of killing Olyne for being “a moffie” by the Western Cape High Court in Ceres.

He beat and kicked the tied-up 22-year-old to death in March 2014 as a group of young locals watched on. Olyne’s wire-bound body was also set on fire.

On Thursday, Judge Siraj Desai was unable to pass his sentence because the state had still not completed a psychiatric evaluation of the killer.

This is the third time that the case has been postponed because of the outstanding evaluation. The sentencing was also postponed once before due to the judge being ill.

The Cape Times reported that, according to the prosecution, the Justice Department’s head office in Pretoria had still not authorised the evaluation.

In court, Judge Desai slammed the “systematic flaws” in the justice system that had left him with no choice but to postpone sentencing again.

Olyne’s mother, Maria, had travelled more 500km from the Northern Cape to Ceres to witness the senescing.

“It feels like yesterday that my son was taken away from me,” the distraught woman told the Times. “The family is struggling and I don’t think I will ever get over this.”

She will now have to wait even longer for closure. The sentencing has been postponed to October 11.

LGBTI rights group Triangle Project said in a statement that that it was “frustrated” by the continued delays in the case, which has dragged on for more than two years.

While it agreed that the psychiatric evaluation is necessary, the organisation believes that “every delay causes unnecessary anguish for the community and continues to place an unfair strain on their resources, both emotional and financial”.

Triangle explained that the problems with the case reflect a larger issue with the entire South African justice system, which is overburdened and under-resourced.

“Delays such as those in the David Olyne trial cause concern because of the subsequent effect on other survivors who may decide not to report or pursue their cases because of perceived inefficiencies or deficiencies in the criminal justice system,” it added.

Triangle has previously stated that it believes that two other people, in addition to Oncke, were likely involved in the killing and that they have gotten away with murder.

Triangle has slammed the police’s investigation, accusing the authorities of a lack of thorough investigation, and of not following up on leads and witnesses it provided.

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