News & Events

Wits Justice Project help innocent men walk free
Friday, March 24, 2017
Johannesburg, South Africa

Thanks in part to a campaign led by our partners at Wits Justice Project, two innocent men have finally been released from prison after serving 14 years in prison for a crime they didn't commit. 

Samuel Khanye and Victor Moyo were the last of five men, falsely accused of a 2003 murder, to be released from prison on March 24th. They had been convicted solely on the basis of the "recanted, uncorroborated hearsay evidence” of one man and were forced to sign confessions after being subjected to torture.

The two men faced huge bureaucratic and legal hurdles in having their convictions overturned, and they were only released due to the sustained advocacy efforts of Wits Justice Project and their fellow co-accused Thembekile Molaudzi (who was released in 2015), as well as the legal services of human rights lawyers Egon Oswald and Carol Steinberg. 

WJP have described these men's cases as "proof of the human cost of judicial error, the fallibility of an increasingly dysfunctional criminal justice system and the fact that not only guilty people find themselves behind bars – especially if they’re poor." They will receive no compensation from the state.

According to Mr. Khanye: “It’s not only me and Victor in prison for nothing. There are many, many others….”

Read the full story here