The General Council of the Bar stopped short of condemning the cross-examination of alleged rape victim Cheryl Zondi by clergyman Timothy Omotoso’s advocate, Peter Daubermann, yesterday.
But it pointed out there were nevertheless ethical constraints to be observed in cross-examination.
“We do not condone unnecessary aggression and the badgering of witnesses. Moreover, a witness’ right to be treated with dignity and respect is proper advocacy.”
Because rape trials often lacked witnesses, the boundaries must be made clear, the Bar said.
It called on prosecutors to object to inappropriate cross-examination, and for judges to sustain those objections if defence lawyers went too far.
This week, Daubermann asked Judge Mandela Makaula to recuse himself from the case, stating that he had aligned himself to Zondi’s cause and that his client was not getting a fair trial.
Daubermann has been accused of humiliating Zondi.