Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
1 minute read
25 Oct 2018
6:35 am

Prosecutors ‘can object’ if cross-examination goes too far

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

The cross-examination of alleged rape victim Cheryl Zondi by clergyman Timothy Omotoso’s advocate, Peter Daubermann, has been criticised.

From left, Pastor Timothy Omotoso and his two co-accused, Lusanda Sulani and Zukiswa Sitho, in the dock at the Port Elizabeth High Court on Tuesday, 16 October 2018. Picture: ANA

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.

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