Taking the bumps for Pistorius

2014-03-10 00:00

AS the world’s media cranes for a glimpse of Oscar Pistorius arriving at court, there is one man who is always close by.

Police Warrant Officer Hein Taljaard co-ordinates his movements to and from court, leading him through a sea of people to the dock.

“If we as the police service didn’t help him, he wouldn’t make it to the front door or to his car. He only has a couple of cousins with him,” Taljaard told sister paper Beeld.

He says they got a few bumps last Monday and Tuesday. “We’re used to it,” he says.

Taljaard has been in the SAPS for 26 years, and has worked at court since 2003.

This might be the biggest, but it is not his first high-profile case.

He accompanied Andre Gouws and Ambrose Monye during the recent

Chantelle Henning murder case.

He was at the side of the so-called “Modimolle Monster”, Johan Kotzé.

For 11 years, he was the court orderly during the Boeremag treason case.

But this case is different.

“The intensity is that much more.”

He says, for him, the person he is guarding is the most important.

“One doesn’t want to give him preferential treatment, but even so, he has not been found guilty. I think one should try to treat him humanely,” he says.

He greets Pistorius with a handshake every morning, and while they chat, it is never about the case.

“I’ve joked with him that I’m going to collect all the photos and I want his autograph before it’s all over.”

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