News24

Barbie to hear fate in October

2009-08-28 19:06

Pretoria - Former Pretoria advocate Cezanne Visser, who is accused of sexually abusing women and young girls with her former lover Dirk Prinsloo, will have to wait until October to hear her fate.

Acting Judge Chris Eksteen on Friday postponed Visser's trial to October 6 for judgment after the state and defence handed in voluminous heads of argument and also presented brief oral argument.

Defence Counsel Johan Engelbrecht SC argued that Visser could not be convicted on the 14 charges against her because Prinsloo manipulated and controlled her to such an extent that she had no will of her own.

Right and wrong

Prosecutor Andre Fourie, however, argued that Visser had two law degrees, could distinguish very well between right and wrong and had at all times exercised a choice in what she did.

The charges range from defrauding a children's home and soliciting minors to committing indecent acts, indecent assault, rape and manufacturing child pornography.

Both Engelbrecht and Fourie relied on the evidence of the head of clinical psychology at the Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital, Professor Jonathan Scholtz, to prove their point.

Engelbrecht said the State was not correct that Visser had exercised a choice, as it was clear from Scholtz's evidence that she had exercised a "forced choice".

"Scholtz's evidence was that she was so assimilated and taken up by Prinsloo that she could think, but not deep enough. He testified that education played no role.

"What did play a role was this: The woman is down, then this guy rocks up on the scene. This sexual sadist, who has the ability to see the vulnerability in a woman. Then he zooms in and once he's zoomed in, it's the end of the story," he said.

Chose Prinsloo

Fourie said Scholtz never indicated that Visser could not distinguish between right and wrong and act accordingly, but merely said she had been less accountable for her actions.
He stressed that Visser exercised choices.

"Her choice throughout was to choose Prinsloo. She chose to satisfy him and keep him happy and also acted in her own interest. The evidence does not indicate that she was merely a robot in Prinsloo's hands," Fourie argued.

He said Visser's attempt to put the blame on Prinsloo was a "desperate attempt to get away from her own accountability".

Prinsloo, who fled the country in 2006 while on a business trip to Russia, is presently in custody in the Republic of Belarus after allegedly attempting to rob a Russian bank earlier this year.

He and Visser were initially tried together in 2005, but their trials were later separated. Visser's trial was further delayed when the trial judge died and her trial had to start afresh before a new judge.