A man who viciously beat his wife has been sentenced to a R20,000 fine and a three-year suspended prison sentence.
Jaco Swart pleaded guilty to two counts of assault at the Pretoria North Regional Court. This came after his defence counsel objected to footage of the violent beatings being shown in the case.
Jaco Swart viral footage
The footage shows Swart physically abusing his estranged wife, Nicoleen.
“The CCTV footage captured Swart pushing, punching and kicking his wife at their business in 2018″, said AfriForum Private Prosecution Unit spokesperson Barry Bateman.
“Some of the vicious attacks took place in front of the couple’s two children”.
Warning: The footage below is graphic and may disturb some readers.
Footage not used in court
The court dismissed the state’s application to admit the footage unless the authenticity of the videos could be confirmed.
AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit became involved in the case after the matter was struck off the roll last year.
According to Bateman, the court had handed down the lenient sentence after accepting that Swart had shown remorse.
“While I’m disappointed at the sentence imposed by the court, I am pleased with the guilty verdict. It sends a strong message to women that they must speak out against gender-based violence, and there is always an ear willing to listen,” said Nicoleen.
Struck off the roll
Nicoleen had approached AfriForum to help her after the matter was previously struck off the roll.
It was then that Advocate Gerrie Nel made representations to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and indicated that they were prepared to institute private prosecution.
Then, in May 2021, the DPP instructed that the accused must be prosecuted.
After Swart was sentenced, Nel lamented that the criminal justice system seemed to lack the appetite to tackle gender-based violence.
“We are confronted by the lip service paid to the fight against gender-based violence by all in the criminal justice system, as well as a lack of commitment and competence to take proper care for the victims of gender-based violence.
“However, we want to applaud Nicoleen Swart who decided not to remain a victim but to speak out,” said Nel.