The Struggle for Justice




Barbara Volkwyn

This website was launched towards the end of 2004 (see reasons below). At that stage my brothers and I had spent thousands of rands, put in loads of effort and energy in our quest for justice. In September 2006, more than a year after the Director of Public Prosecutions declined to prosecute with regard to the murder of my late father and the subsequent estate fraud, I applied to the Director of Public Prosecutions for nolle prosequi certificates so that I could conduct private prosecutions.

On the 18th March 2007, I said "As we enter our fifth year of this immense struggle for justice, I will ensure that 2007 will mark the end of that struggle - that is a certainty."  I was wrong.

To summarise, as at today 28th June 2008 (the sixth year), having escalated these matters to the President who responded at the end of 2007, they now rest with the Ministers of Justice and Safety and Security as well as the National Prosecuting Authority. More than one High Court case is still in progress so the sub judice rule applies; I am not at liberty to discuss these matters publicly .

This website is dedicated to my late father, Isaac Theodore Volkwyn, who died on 23rd March 2002. He had suffered a stroke six days earlier and the doctors felt that he would not make a good recovery. Due to this fact a decision was made not only to withhold medical treatment, but also to withhold food and water. His death certificate stated pneumonia as the cause of death, but in my view it was a combination of starvation, dehydration and pneumonia.I am convinced that the day before he died he was showing signs of coming out of his comatose state but nevertheless he was left to die. While I sat at his bedside two days before he died, I promised him that I would find out whether this inhumane treatment was allowed, and if not so, then I would leave no stone unturned in my quest for justice and also to ensure that no-one else ever be allowed to die this way. I spent eight months researching the manner in which he died and found out that it was in fact not allowed. He was not brain dead or on a life support machine or ventilator and even if he had been (which was not the case), there were guidelines which should have been followed, most of them were not. I often cast my mind back to the words of one of the first doctors who examined in the Casualty department at Groote Schuur Hospital. He said at the time my father did not look his age, he looked about 20 years younger. Three days later when I asked one the attending doctors how long it will take for my father to die, he responded with "I cannot say. Your father has very strong genes, he must have had, because he has lived to this age. But without food and water and no treatment for the pneumonia, his body is taking a hell of a knock".

Over these past five years since his death I have walked hundreds of kilometres, made thousands of phone calls, appealed for explanations from and the assistance of amongst others, a Superintendent at Groote Schuur Hospital (the hospital in which he died), the Western Cape Department of Health, the Medical and Dental Council of South Africa, the Health Professions Council of South Africa, the South African Police, the Independent Complaints Directorate, the Masters Business Unit and the Director of Public Prosecutions, the High Court in Cape Town, the Law Faculty at the University of Cape Town, Lawyers for Human Rights, The Human Rights Commission, the National Director of Public Prosecutions, The Public Protector, the Ministers of Justice and Safety and Security and various firms of attorneys too numerous to mention. Over the next few pages you will learn what an uphill battle this has been and continues to be. I will publish each and every affidavit made by my brothers and I, every letter sent to key figures who should have assisted us but did not.

My father poured his life into the legal profession and always fought for justice for little or no money at all. So many times over the past years I have met attorneys young and old who care mostly about one thing only, and that is money. Often when I used to get home I used to ponder over their words and actions and quite frankly, though it distresses me to say this, they are a disgrace to their profession.

Very often my brothers and I were made to feel as though we were requesting favours or attempting to conjure up support from you (you know who your are). We were not. We were simply asking you to perform your duties. Many of you now hold high-ranking positions in the Ministry of Justice to name just one Ministry, yet when we escalated the problems we were facing to you, you opted to either pass the buck, or ignore us and hope that we’d retreat silently. What you in fact did was make us more determined than ever before to carry on fighting for justice.

To those of you who tried to silence us by various means, including threats of legal action and severe warnings, attempts to gain entry to one of our homes for unknown reasons, you failed dismally in your efforts. As my brother Roy and I have said on numerous occasions, we will never be silenced as long as we walk this earth and the only way to silence us, is to kill us. Our viewpoint has not changed. In one of my letters to the Director of Public Prosecutions as well as to the National Director of Public Prosecutions, I stated that we had explored various avenues and my patience was running out and that unless a resolution was found quickly I would have no choice but to expose this web of lies, deceit, betrayal, cover-ups and disgraceful conduct of the SAP to name but one of the government departments. This time has come. I hope that this exercise will also pave the way for anyone attempting to embark on a struggle similar to this one. Until I have succeeded, please know your rights, believe me unlike the lies I was told, you DO have rights in a situation like this one. Please refer to the HPCSA Guidelines in the link "List of Documents".

To those of you who were responsible for my late father’s death, not only did you destroy his dream of living till 100 or even beyond that, not only did you take away what I regard as one of the most fundamental human rights - the right to life and then the right to choose, you took his life in the most cruel and inhumane manner imaginable and in so doing, came close to destroying a few more that I am aware of.

I Salute you Dad