An Information Service supplied by the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society

6 May 2011

This professional service draws attention to current and important items of news
 and members are directed to the hosts' websites

InfoUpdate 8 of 2011
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Magistrates Courts


Daggers drawn in court - 7 April
A Benoni courtroom stood on the brink of open warfare as the parents of a murdered and raped 20-year-old came face to face with her alleged killer. In the hushed silence, the packed courtroom could hear the heavy footfalls of accused Jurgen Vandekeere landing long before he emerged from the holding cells below the Benoni Magistrate's Court. Vandekeere was appearing in connection with the murder of Chantelle Barnard. Magistrate Almarie Schutte told Vandekeere that should the State prove he had planned to kill Chantelle, he would automatically be sentenced to life imprisonment. The onus would also be on him to provide exceptional circumstances as to why he should receive bail. The only member of Vandekeere's family present at court was sector Community Policing Forum chairman Johan Vandekeere, who was clearly in the Barnard camp. Since the Friday incident, he has had to endure numerous phone calls, with people mistaking him for his cousin Jurgen. The case was postponed to April 20 for a bail application. - IOL website

Blue Downs

Four men allegedly raped at work - 13 April
Four young black men have allegedly been raped by their bosses and forced at gunpoint to drink urine from the toilet bowls in their workplace, Sowetan newspaper reports. The attack allegedly happened a week ago in Blackheath, Cape Town, at a carpentry factory near the Mfuleni police station. The daily newspaper reports that police confirmed that they had arrested the owners of the AC Wendy's factory in Blackheath, and charged them with assault, indecent assault, crimen injuria and intimidation. - IOL website

Magistrate excuses himself from racial attack case - 14 April
A Cape Town magistrate has excused himself from a case in which four Mfuleni men were allegedly sexually assaulted in an apparent racist attack. Magistrate Gerald Hattingh pointed at the two accused and said the brothers have been his neighbours for 25 years, so it would not be right for him to preside over the case. Another magistrate then took over the matter. - Eye Witness News website

Sex assault accused denies claims - 19 April
One of two brothers accused of sexually assaulting four workers has wept bitterly in the dock of the Blue Downs Magistrate's Court while telling magistrate Linda van Tonder his version of events. Hein van Vuuren wiped his eyes with toilet paper as he denied the allegations against him. Van Vuuren and his brother, Enrico, were in court to apply for bail on three counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, two of rape and two of sexual assault. - IOL website

'Workers made up sex assault story' - 21 April
The Director of Public Prosecutions has two months to decide whether to go ahead with a prosecution against two brothers accused by casual workers of sexually assaulting them at a factory in Blackheath. Blue Downs magistrate Linda van Tonder released brothers Hein and Enrico van Vuuren yesterday on free bail, saying the case against them had been "fabricated and without substance". Four casual workers alleged that the brothers had assaulted them and then forced them to perform oral sex on them on April 5. Van Tonder said the State had a weak case against the brothers. "It seems . . . revenge was the only motive . . . since they did not pay the workers", she said. It emerged during the bail application that Hein van Vuuren had refused to pay the workers because they had been smoking dagga at the brothers' timber factory. - IOL website


Plane spotter in court on communication charges - 7 April
Aircraft-spotting enthusiast Julian Swift returns to the Boksburg Magistrate's Court today to defend himself against several charges of interception of electronic equipment. Mr Swift appears to be the first aircraft spotter prosecuted in terms of the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (Rica) and the Electronic Communications Act. A handful of other aircraft spotter enthusiasts have accepted fines, but this carries a criminal record, so Mr Swift refused, arguing he had no idea that what he was doing was illegal, according to his legal representative, Tanya Greyling. - Business Day website

See also : Man accused of listening to air traffic control conversations in court - 11 January [2011]
Eye Witness News website
[InfoUpdate 2 of 2011]

See also : Critical evidence in Mdluli case 'missing' [South Africa]

Cape Town

Alleged rugby rape victim 'given ice pack' - 18 April
What was to be a celebration of National Cleavage Day turned into a nightmare for a Cape Town woman who was allegedly given an ice pack to sit on to ease her pain after being raped by up to four members of a foreign rugby team. Yesterday, two of the four men, aged 40 and 24, appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court and applied for bail. "The guy who she refers to as the team doctor offered to compensate her with some money - in exchange she should not call the police and not cause trouble", Investigating officer Constable Mzukisi Tswina  said. But the hotel manager, who had heard what was said, called the police. The woman was able to identify only two of her alleged attackers. In affidavits, both men accused her of being "promiscuous" and denied raping her. In his statement, the 24-year-old admitted to consensual sex. - Times Live website

Victim of alleged rugby rape speaks - 19 April
The 29-year-old complainant's statement said she met four of the team members on Saturday morning in Long Street. After "celebrating and drinking", she took the men to the Protea Hotel in Sea Point, where the alleged gang rape took place. Tswina said the complainant told one of the accused that she felt sleepy, but he told her not to drive to her home because she was too drunk. "He offered her a bed because he said he had two separate beds in his hotel room. She went up to the room because she said there was some closeness between her and the accused because they were dancing all night and she was drunk", Tswina said.
The complainant said she fell asleep "immediately", but woke up when one accused was on top of her, penetrating her. "She said she had no strength to fight because she was drunk, but told him 'No, stop that' but he continued. Later, she was woken again and it was now a second man allegedly penetrating her. After some time, she woke up again when a third man allegedly forced himself on her. "At this stage, she sobered up and wanted to stand up, but someone (a fourth person) pushed her back and forced himself on her", Tswina said. Defence advocate Pete Mihalik told Tswina : "Something you forgot . . . is that the team management called the hotel manager because they were having a problem with a girl who did not want to leave. The second issue that struck me is the complainant said she fell asleep".  - IOL website

Two foreigners accused of rape out on strict bail conditions - 20 April
Two South Americans will have to report to the Sea Point Police Station three times a week, as part of strict bail conditions. Twenty four-year-old rugby player Santiago di Meo and 40-year-old rugby supporter Ramiro Racioppi were each released on bail of R20 000 on Tuesday. The men are in South Africa with a Uruguayan rugby club that has been touring the country. - Eye Witness News website

'Rugby rape' suspects released on bail - 27 April
Two foreign nationals accused of raping a Zimbabwean woman in Cape Town were granted bail on Tuesday. The 26-year-old rugby player and 37-year-old assistant coach are part of a Uruguayan rugby club touring South Africa. They were arrested after an identity parade. Rodrigo Ruben Mujica was granted R5 000  bail, while assistant coach Caesar Borgess was released on R26 000 bail. Two others accused of rape are out on bail. - Eye Witness News website


'He touched my private parts' - 7 April
Clutching stuffed toys and speaking in soft voices, three young girls have told the Durban Regional Court how their swimming coach touched them on their private parts during lessons three years ago. Former Umbilo swimming coach Aubrey Maclou, 60, pleaded not guilty before magistrate Delia Turner yesterday to three counts of rape. He has been charged with rape because, according to the new Sexual Offences Act, any sexual penetration is deemed to be rape. The State alleges that the incidents took place at a home in 2007 and 2008. - IOL website

Parents stand by girls' story - 8 April
A parent of one of the young girls allegedly sexually molested by their 60-year-old swimming coach says her daughter and the other children could not have conspired to bring false allegations against the man. - IOL website

Axeman accused howls in court - 8 April
Like a man being led to the gallows, he howled as five policemen wrestled him into the dock. Clutching a dog-eared Bible, the burly 1.84cm, 95kg former rugby player with soiled trousers sobbed and pleaded : "No, no, I don't want to appear". The policemen relented and Joseph Ntshongwana forced his way out of the dock and back down to the cells below. It was left to Joseph's father, Liston Ntshongwana, a former rugby player, government adviser and diplomat in the former Transkei, to explain his son's case to Durban magistrate Anita Govender. He told the magistrate that his son who is facing three charges of murder, one of attempted murder and one of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm was a schizophrenic who suffered from bipolar disorder. - IOL website

Psych hospital for Ntshongwana - 14 April
Alleged Durban axe murderer, Joseph Ntshongwana will be sent to Pietermaritzburg's Fort Napier hospital for mental observation. While the District Surgeon has declared him fit to stand trial, this was challenged by his defence. Barefoot and clutching two plastic packets, Ntshongwana made his way up the stairs and into the dock. While he was much calmer today than he was last week, he still appeared distracted, rubbing his head and face and mumbling to himself. - East Coast Radio website

Bridge lawyer 'unstable man' - 21 April
Attorney Koobashan Naicker was on Wednesday portrayed as a man out of control - not only facing murder charges relating to last month's fatal accident on Athlone Bridge, but a host of others involving alleged drunk and reckless driving, malicious damage to property, assault and robbery in various incidents over the past two years. The charge sheet before the Durban Regional Court, where Naicker is making a bail application, is 25 pages long. And, according to an affidavit in opposition to bail by the investigating officer, Captain Kassavan Pillay, Naicker is also being sought by police for at least two other alleged drunk-driving charges and a culpable homicide matter relating to the death of a motorist in another accident. He has now been charged with three counts of murder, driving under the influence, and reckless and negligent driving in that he drove into oncoming traffic, causing the multiple car pile-up in which two young girls were also seriously injured. - IOL website

Bridge lawyer gets bail - 22 April
Attorney Koobashan Naicker, who is alleged to have been responsible for a fatal accident on Durban's Athlone Bridge, was given his freedom yesterday but not before being given a stern warning that he would be locked up again should he drive a car. And his attorney and advocate, Kirshen Naidoo and Jay Naidoo, were also warned by Durban Regional Court magistrate Anita Govender that they had a "moral and social responsibility to guide him in the right way in his personal life". He is also under investigation by the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society on allegations that he has misappropriated about R20 million from his trust fund, money which was intended for Road Accident Fund victims. - IOL website

Zuma may testify in assault case - 19 April
There was a need for President Jacob Zuma to testify in the trial of a man accused of spilling his drink on him, the Durban Magistrate's Court heard on Tuesday. "It is important for the victim (Zuma) to explain why this is considered be an assault", submitted defence attorney Jimmy House. The State alleges that Daryl Peense spilled his drink on Zuma during the Durban July horse race last year. Peense is charged with assault. On Tuesday, House brought an application for charges to be dropped, arguing that the State had failed to produce prima-facie evidence against Peense. - IOL website

'I did not aim at the president' - 19 April
A Gauteng racehorse owner on Tuesday denied deliberately pouring alcohol on President Jacob Zuma during the Durban July horse race last year. "I did not intend spilling it. I did not deliberately aim at the president", Daryl Peense told the Durban Magistrate's Court. The drink spilled from the balcony during pushing as people tried to get a better view of the final important race, he said. Peense, who faces an assault charge for the alleged act, told the court he was drunk at the time. - IOL website

East London

Woman aquitted of murdering husband - 9 April
For more than 20 years a Cape Town mother was beaten and abused by her husband, until one day while on holiday she picked up a .22 rifle and shot him in the stomach. This week tears streamed down 41-year-old Jeanette Grimbeek's cheeks as she was acquitted of murder by the regional court in East London. Grimbeek admitted to shooting her husband Jurgens in March 2009 while they were staying at Swallows Farm. According to the state, Jurgens died from injuries sustained as a result of the shooting but his body was never found. A police report suggests that while he was being transported to Frere Hospital, Jurgens jumped out of the ambulance and fled. This week magistrate Paul Pretorius ruled that the state had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Grimbeek had murdered her husband. The affidavit says she tried to leave him several times and how on several occasions the police had been called by neighbours, holidaymakers, friends and even her son. She laid charges against him only to drop them because he threatened to kill her and her family. She begged Jurgens to let her leave to go and live with her parents. He agreed in principal but never let her go. - IOL website


Agliotti-linked drugs accused acquitted - 5 April
Three men who were accused of drug dealing related to a R250-million consignment were acquitted in the Germiston Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, the South African Broadcasting Corporation reported.  Magistrate Deon Snyman said the state had failed to prove its case against Stephen Paparas, his father, Dimitri, and Stanley Poonin beyond all reasonable doubt. The three were on trial for a drug syndicate bust in 2006 where a ton of hashish was recovered by the Scorpions. - Mail & Guardian website


See also : Sars quizzes Krejcir's mom [South Africa]


Appleton jail term criticised - 26 April
The parents of a 10-year-old boy who was repeatedly raped by convicted paedophile Ian Appleton are "outraged and appalled" by the five-year sentence imposed on the former Catholic school teacher. Days after Paarl Regional Magistrate Nomawethu Smile sentenced Appleton, the parents of the 10-year-old victim are still raw with emotion because of the "light sentence" imposed on a man they call a "notorious paedophile". Appleton, 72, a former Christian Brothers College teacher and scoutmaster, was also granted bail and leave to appeal his sentence. - IOL website


Teen tells of rape by her carer - 21 April
A 17-year-old teenager placed in a safe house has told how she was raped by the man who was supposed to protect her. The teenager, who cannot be named, was allegedly raped twice by the man who has worked as senior official for the Child Advocacy Centre for the past 10 years. The accused, who also works as a police reservist, was arrested at the Child Advocacy Centre offices in Willowton Road. Police also confiscated a handgun, which he allegedly used to threaten his victim. It is believed that the victim, who is originally from Richmond, will help the police to investigate 20 other rape cases in which the accused is allegedly implicated. She claims the alleged victims - all between 9 and 16 years old - were raped at the accused's home in Hermannsburg. - News24 website

Murder accused out on R5 000 bail - 29 April
A man charged with the murder of 20-year-old Juran Lorenzo Raman at a Pietermaritzburg nightclub was yesterday granted bail of R5 000 in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate's Court on condition that he relocate to Joburg. Sherwin Cara is only allowed to come to Pietermaritzburg on the days when he is due to appear in court. Cara is alleged to have murdered Raman, 20, at the Vacca Matta nightclub at the Golden Horse Casino on March 27. - The Mercury website


McBride found guilty of drunk driving - 8 April
Former Ekurhuleni metro police chief Robert McBride was on Friday convicted of drunken driving. SABC news reports the Pretoria Magistrate's Court also found him guilty on a charge of defeating the end of justice. As the former Ekurhuleni metro police chief Robert McBride - he was described during court proceedings as a "madman" who is capable of anything. - Business Day website

McBride guilty of drunken driving - 8 April
Former Ekurhuleni metro police chief Robert McBride was on Friday convicted of drunken driving and defeating the ends of justice, SABC news reported. The Pretoria Magistrate's Court acquitted him on a count of fraud. The judgment brought to an end a trial that began in 2006 when McBride crashed a state-owned car on the R511 following a Christmas party. Magistrate Peet Johnson extended McBride's bail pending his sentencing on July 15. - The New Age website

Prosecutor in court on murder rap - 19 April
Courtroom C of the Pretoria Magistrate's Court was yesterday packed with lawyers, prosecutors, court orderlies and interpreters who wanted a glimpse of their colleague, a State prosecutor, in the dock. Geoffrey Maponya was arrested hours after the body of a young woman was discovered in a dustbin outside a block of flats in Church Street on Thursday. - IOL website

NPA arranges external staff for prosecutor's murder trial - 19 April
The National Prosecuting Authority on Monday said it will arrange a prosecutor from outside Pretoria to avoid a conflict of interest in a matter involving a prosecutor. On Monday, the Pretoria Magistrate's Court postponed the case against state prosecutor Jeffrey Maponya. He is facing murder charges. The NPA's Mthunzi Mhaga said Maponya was suspended pending disciplinary action against him.
It has also emerged that the victim, 20-year-old Precious Sibanda, may have been a witness in a case involving Maponya or had laid charges against him. - Eye Witness News website


Terre'Blanche murder trial postponed - 3 May
The new counsel for Chris Mahlangu, accused along with a minor of killing Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) leader Eugene Terre'Blanche, was on Tuesday granted a postponement in the Ventersdorp High Court to prepare for trial. Mahlangu's previous attorney, Puna Moroko, came under fire by Mahlangu's new attorney, advocate Kjomogso Tlowana, for not having carried out the required legal work. Tlowana submitted that forensic and DNA evidence, photographs, witness statements and pointing-outs had not been examined by experts. - Mail & Guardian website


Teen driver to face the music - 8 April
A 17-year-old boy has appeared in the Verulam Magistrate's court in connection with a fatal accident on Umhlanga Rocks Drive in January, near the Somerset park turn-off. He appeared on charges of murder, attempted murder, driving under the influence of alcohol and driving without a valid licence. The teenager was behind the wheel of a BMW when he allegedly veered into the oncoming traffic, slamming head first into a golf, and killing Liam Symington and seriously injuring his two daughters, Riley and Micayla - aged six and 13. - East Coast Radio website


Satanism, muti trade part of graveyard probe - 5 April
Satanism and the muti-trade in body parts form part of the police investigation into the gruesome murder of a 24-year-old Welkom man at the weekend, Free State police said on Tuesday. Captain Stephan Thakeng said police were on Tuesday still looking for missing body parts of Michael van Eck, who was found in a shallow grave in the Welkom cemetery on Sunday morning. - IOL website

Body found with missing limbs - 6 April
A young couple were arrested for the gruesome murder of a 24-year-old Welkom man, whose body was found with limbs missing, Free State police said on Wednesday. Police spokesman Captain Stephen Thakeng said a 24-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman were arrested late on Tuesday and all missing body parts were found.
Police said cats apparently also belonging to the young couple were found buried in the garden. The two were arrested for murder and would appear in the Welkom Magistrate's Court soon. Thakeng said the possibility that the man and woman were involved in Satanism would be investigated. - IOL website

Couple kept head in their fridge - 9 April
For Maartens van der Merwe, she was his "dark Goddess". Now police investigators believe it was the young brunette, Chane van Heerden, who "lured" Michael van Eck to his horrific death. On February 11, barely a month before the 23-year-old's gruesome murder last weekend, Van der Merwe posted a photograph on Facebook of himself and his 20-year-old girlfriend embracing, with a caption that read moordenaars (murderers) - followed by an incongruous smiley face. Van Eck's murder, which police are investigating for its apparent links to Satanism, has shocked the gold mining town of Welkom, where he worked as an electrician on a mine. He had been beheaded, his right arm cut off, and both his legs amputated at the knees, and buried in a shallow grave at the local cemetery. Body parts, found by police at the couple's rented home, were allegedly kept as human trophies by his suspected killers. - IOL website

InfoUpdate : an Information Service supplied by the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society