The Stellenbosch University has a Moot Society and one of their tasks is to arrange an internal Moot Court for students during the first semester. Our firm, Chennells Albertyn Attorneys, was approached by the Moot Society to sponsor and manage a Moot Court. We were in a fortunate position to do so, as we are managing a trust fund on behalf of the family of the late Jennifer Prinsloo, who lost her life in a motor vehicle collision.

The basis for the Moot Court was as follows:

The late Jennifer Prinsloo lost her life in a motor vehicle collision and approximately 1 year after the incident, there was no progress in the criminal investigation. The family then approached Chennells Albertyn Attorneys to investigate the matter by interviewing witnesses and placing continuous pressure on the authorities to investigate the accident. More than 2 years after the incident the driver of the other vehicle was found guilty of culpable homicide and sentenced. The family of the late Jennifer Prinsloo created a trust fund in memory of Jennifer Prinsloo and Chennells Albertyn is mandated to use the trust fund for worthy causes, closely related to human rights issues. Chennells Albertyn then drafted a similar set of facts to be mooted by students in order to honour the memory of Jennifer Prinsloo and to emphasize every citizen’s rights in criminal cases as entrenched within the parameters of the South African Constitution, more specifically as in Section 35(3)(d).

The students were challenged to research and argue the following points of law:

(a)  Circumstances under which a nolle prosequi or private prosecution may be proceeded with.

(b)  The obtaining of a final interdict to prevent private prosecution.

(c)  The admissibility of a video recording from a witness.

(d) Adding of further charges to the nolle prosequi.

(e) An application for permanent stay of prosecution.

The judging panel consisted of, inter alia, two senior advocates, a number of junior advocates as well as attorneys from Chennells Albertyn. The panel was adequately impressed with the students’ performance.

Preliminary rounds took place and two final teams were elected on a point system. The finals took place and the applicant’s application to interdict a nolle prosequi was dismissed and the respondents (family of Jennifer Prinsloo) could proceed with private prosecution.

All the role players were in agreement that the Moot Court has awakened the interest of the students in mostly the rule of law, human rights and the fact that everyons is equal in the eyeys of the law. Although it was an extremely difficult set of facts to argue, the students have enjoyed it thoroughly.

Kind regards,

Fiona Bester

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