The right to a fair trial and being hearing impaired
Africa Criminal Justice Reform
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The Cape High Court recently (27 August 2018) overturned on appeal the conviction and sentence of a 62-year old man convicted in the Wynberg Regional Court of murder because the trial court failed to protect his right to a fair trial by not making special arrangements for his hearing and speech impairment, the refusal to admit potentially crucial testimony, and the negative bias of the presiding officer. In Kruse v S (Case no. A 100/2018) the High Court was scathing of the trial court for its lack of sensitivity and understanding in dealing with hearing and speech impaired accused persons despite good precedent existing in law. Kruse was convicted in 2015 for the shooting to death of one Nashief Davids, an act he claimed was committed in self-defence, and upon conviction was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, of which five years were suspended conditionally for five years.