The Gwaze trial and subsequent retrial creates a situation which is disturbing.
But if that is disturbing, the evidence in question is worse. “Oh, that sort of thing happens in AIDS patients” isn’t something that should be presented as evidence, and particularly not at the last minute.
However, that’s the fault of the trial judge for allowing it. The changes that allowed retrial after “not guilty” verdicts were (if I remember correctly) made after gang members intimidated jury members into letting their fellows off. It’s arguable that using such a law to fix judicial stuff-ups goes against the intent of the law.
So there’s good reasons to support Gwaze, but also good reasons to retry him and fully test the evidence presented. Should that evidence hold up, he should be acquitted again.
Unfortunately, that was before his daughter said this.
Gwaze’s daughter, Maggie, said yesterday the Supreme Court decision was very disappointing.
“I think this is more (about) persecution than prosecution now,” she told the New Zealand Herald.
“If there’s ever been a display of discrimination and racism in New Zealand, this is the best of it. It’s because of where we come from and who we are.”
Her family could now only show up in court again and “see what they have in store for us”, she said.
Someone ought to tell Ms Maggie Gwaze that throwing around patently false charges of racism in a country that prides itself on not being racist is one of the best ways of ridding your cause of public support.
She also would do well to remember who the alleged victim was.
Update: Added a photo of Charlene Makaza, just in case people didn’t get that last bit.