Tue, 27 Oct 2020

"The NPA, guided by Section 179(2) of the Constitution of South Africa which empowers the NPA to institute criminal proceedings on behalf of the State and to carry out any necessary functions incidental to instituting criminal proceedings, enrolled a case of culpable homicide against two medical practitioners, namely, Doctor Peter Beale and Doctor Abdulhay Munshi," said Mjonondwane

The decision to prosecute Beale and Munshi meant that there was no need to refer the matter for an inquest hearing, she added.

By law, an inquest shall be conducted in instances where criminal proceedings are not instituted and where a death has occurred and that such death was a result of unnatural causes.

"In this instance, the latter is not applicable," said Mjonondwane.

"Furthermore, the NPA reiterates that the rights to equality before the law applies to every citizen within the borders of South Africa. It is therefore our view that, if medical practitioners, in the execution of their duties, act within the confines of the law, then they do not have to fear criminal prosecution."

Once the prosecution has been furnished with a copy of Munshi's death certificate, charges against him can be formally withdrawn in court. Beale will be back in court on 16 November.

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