“The case before the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg is continuing and is set for 22 and 23 May. We will continue our support for the applicants who really exposed themselves and what happened to them so courageously,” said Friedmann.
Frankel was facing up to eight charges of child molestation and sexual abuse in what WMACA called “the worst-kept secret in Johannesburg’s business, Jewish and socialite communities”.
“Sidney Frankel has been abusing children for a very long time – and stands accused of molesting seven complainants who have come forward, who were entrusted to his care when they were very young children,” WMACA wrote in a statement in 2015 when news of the alleged abuse broke.
According to the summons before the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, Frankel was accused of molesting the children at five different locations, namely in Abbotford, Johannesburg; Ballifarm horse farm in Kyalami; Baobab Ridge game farm in Buffelshoek; the former Arcadia Jewish Children’s Home in Parktown, Johannesburg; and at his home in Athol.
Four of the applicants claimed they were “habitually sexually assaulted while taking a bath or swimming” when they were children.
Frankel had enlisted the services of attorney Billy Gundelfinger to defend him. The criminal charges were held in stasis as they had prescribed due to them being older than 20 years.
“It was a shock to hear of his death, we knew he wasn’t well,” said Friedmann, while conveying her condolences to his family.
Part of the issue for WMACA was the issue of the charges prescribing, which the organisation wanted overturned.
“In terms of the Sexual Offences Act, there is no prescription for rape, compelled rape, child pornography or trafficking. All of these involve sexual abuse and for us it is important that sexual and indecent assault do not prescribe after 20 years. The case proceeds to the high court on the principle of unconstitutionality, and it proceeds on the principle, not on the person of Sidney Frankel,” said Friedmann.