Paul Kennedy’s bail ‘a disgrace’ to justice system, says victim’s parent

The parent of a child allegedly sexually abused by advocate Paul Kennedy has severely criticised the state as the 53-year-old and his co-accused allegedly committed more sexual offences against minors while out on bail.

The parent, who cannot be named, said she was “truly disillusioned and horrified by the actions of the state”, calling it a travesty of justice.

“The sheer ineptness, lack of action, failure to apply its mind and complete disregard for the children has resulted in numerous other children being abused,” she said.

“I write this mail not only as a mother of a sexually abused son, but as an attorney myself. I find what has occurred in this matter a disgrace to the justice system.”

Kennedy reportedly committed suicide before his trial last month. The final indictment listed 735 charges between Kennedy and his co-accused.

She said the alleged offences of the co-accused, who cannot be named until he has pleaded, included two counts of rape, multiple counts of human trafficking and sexually grooming children.

“Not only has my son had this hanging over his head for most of his teenage life, he has suffered secondary victimisation and trauma.

“As a parent of a sexually abused child, I can completely empathise with the trauma, anger, stress, frustration, guilt and a whole pile of other emotions that not only are the children going through, but the parents and siblings as well.”

The organisation, Women and Men Against Child Abuse, urged the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to “diligently seek reflective and appropriate retribution against the accused on behalf of the victims” following the death of Kennedy.

According to its advocacy manager, Ngaa Murombedzi, the organisation was expecting the consolidation of the lower and high court cases against the remaining accused in the ongoing child sex trafficking and rape case involving the now deceased advocate.

“The co-accused was arrested and charged in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on two separate counts of sexual assault of a minor involving two young boys in 2018.

“As an organisation we have supported the mother of one of the victims and can only summarise her experience in seeking justice for her son as secondary abuse of the child.”

She also said they were pinpointing the granting of bail as a significant failure on the part of the court as it could be linked directly to the accused’s continued predatory behaviour towards children which had led to the current case before the high court.

The NPA had not responded to questions by the time of publication.

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