NORTH GAUTENG HIGH COURT GRANTS ORDER PROTECTING THE IDENTITY OF CHILD VICTIM OF CRIME
On 21 April 2015 the North Gauteng High Court heard an urgent application to prevent the publication of details revealing the identity of the child known as Zephany Nurse. Zephany Nurse was kidnapped from Groote Schuur Hospital when she was born and was raised by the woman who kidnapped her. She was only found at the age of 17.
The High Court granted the order sought; the order prohibits the publication of any information or images that may lead to her identification, both before and after she turns 18. The order prohibiting the publication of her image or identifying details is only Part A of a broader application and the order will be in force pending the final determination of Part B of the application.
Part B of the application will hopefully be heard by the court later this year. Part B deals with the correct interpretation of section 154(3) of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1977 (CPA) which protects child witnesses and offenders by prohibiting the publication of any information that may lead to their identification. The applicants, the Centre for Child Law, Childline, Nicro and Media Monitoring Africa will be asking the court to provide an order in the following terms:
- That the protection of the identity of a child concerned in legal proceedings in terms of section 154(3) of the CPA, applies to victims as well as witnesses and offenders who are under the age of 18 years; and
- That children whose identities are protected in terms of section 154(3) of the CPA, do not forfeit the protection of their identity when they reach the age of 18 years.
The media will still be able to tell the stories and can make an application to court to publish identifying information where that would be in the public interest.
Click below for the High Court order:
North Gauteng High Court Order_21.04.2015