Nezaam Ali, the Muslim scholar accused of sexually molesting nine boys at the Turkeyen Masjid, intends to lead an expert witness as part of his defence.
Ali is currently before Magistrate Alex Moore at the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court on charges of sexually penetrating boys under the age of 12.
He had to be recharged as a result of an omission in the Sexual Offences Act that was corrected
at the start of the year through an amendment.
Ali, of Lot 268 Section C 5, South Turkeyen, who was attached to the masjid, allegedly molested the boys sometime between December 2011 and January 2012. The imam, who is on $1.3M bail, will return to court on September 10, when the defence is expected to call its expert witness.
Present in court yesterday were the parents of six of the boys Ali is accused of molesting and they were concerned about the slow pace of the proceedings.
They were briefed by Magistrate Moore as to the next step in the case and what is expected until the trial ends.
Magistrate Moore informed the parents that the amendment of the Sexual Offences Act was responsible for the lengthy delay in the case.
The National Assembly in January passed the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill to give accused persons the same rights as the prosecution as regards the submission of statements for paper committals. The magistrate noted that after the Act was amended, Ali had to be recharged.
“Now that the bill has been passed, I expect this matter to be concluded in two to three months,” he said.
Ali stood throughout the proceedings yesterday with his head bent while his attorney Peter Hugh received instructions from Magistrate Moore.