Carmichele (“Plaintiff”), a woman, was viciously assaulted by a man, Coetzee (“Accused”), who had a history of assaults. At the time of the attack, the Accused was facing a rape charge but was released without bail, despite attempts from several individuals to persuade the police and the senior public prosecutor that the Accused should not be released. It was during the time that the Accused was at liberty, awaiting trial, that he assaulted Plaintiff. Plaintiff brought an action against the relevant ministers for alleged dereliction of duty by the police and the prosecutor. The High Court dismissed the case, finding that a duty of care was not prima facie established. Plaintiff appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeal, which upheld the High Court’s ruling. Plaintiff subsequently applied to the Constitutional Court.