Boeremag escapees 'not really prisoners'

2012-05-03 22:06

kalahari.com

Johannesburg - A man convicted of harbouring two escaped Boeremag trialists questioned whether they were legally prisoners, the Constitutional Court heard on Thursday.

"If there is no warrant, you can't be regarded as an inmate," said Jaco Bogaards' advocate Gerrit Miller.

Bogaards, who seeks to have his conviction set aside, is challenging the validity of Herman van Rooyen and Rudolph Gouws' detention warrant.

It was issued in terms of S6(1) of the Correctional Services Act, for their committal to a correctional facility.

Can't be considered an inmate


Miller submitted that the warrant was signed by a court orderly - in this case a policeman - so the two were not prisoners, as envisaged in the act, when they escaped.

Though there was no statutory requirement on who could sign a warrant, case law had shown that a detention warrant should be issued by an authorised official such as a presiding judge, court registrar or a senior official in the registrar's office.

A circular issued in October 2006 put a stop to the practice of court orderlies signing warrants.

In papers submitted to the court, Miller said when a person is presented at a correctional services facility, a correctional services officer must insist on a warrant and the warrant must be valid.

If there is only a court order, as in case of Van Rooyen and Gouws, the person can't be considered an inmate, according to Miller.

Technical deficiencies

Prosecutor Dries van Rensburg conceded there were "technical" difficulties with the warrant, but said the State considered that the two had still been in lawful custody.

"It is so that there were some technical deficiencies in the warrants."

Van Rensburg said it was not procedure for the police to prepare pro forma warrants where the signatures were photocopied.

"But a warrant just conveys a message of the court, or the contents of a valid court order," he said.

The "deficiencies" could have been corrected at any time, but there was never a complaint about it, he said.

The warrant itself had correct details on their names, where they should be kept, and the court they should appear in.

An order which was issued when the two were brought to court by police after their arrest determined their custody, not the warrant.

Sentence increased


But regarding Bogaards' sentence, Van Rensburg, after being asked about it numerous times, conceded that it had been unfair that Bogaards' sentence had been increased and that he had not been informed by the court that this might happen.

The State had not asked for this, he said.

Bogaards had originally been sentenced in effect to three years in prison in terms of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Act.

His wife Bess was given two years suspended but her conviction and sentence were set aside on appeal.

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) set aside Bogaards' sentence and, still finding him guilty of harbouring and concealing escaped prisoners, sentenced him instead to five years in prison under Section 115 (e) of the Correctional Services Act, which had been an alternate charge.

Extremely rare


The court heard that although the SCA was allowed to do this, it was extremely rare.

Bogaards believes it was against his fair trial rights not to tell him this might happen.

The drama dates back to 2002. Van Rooyen and Gouws, who were part of a farm commando in Bela-Bela, were arrested. They formed part of an eventual group of 22 who appeared in the North Gauteng High Court on charges of murder, sabotage and terrorism in what is known as the "Boeremag" trial.

On 3 May 2006, Gouws and Van Rooyen disappeared during the lunch adjournment, and even Interpol were asked to help find them.

Police knew that Bogaards knew them through the commando and searched his farm on 13 January, finding a hidden motorbike, a tent with clothes, food and sleeping bags in a dry river bed. One policeman actually spoke to Van Rooyen, before he again disappeared.

The Bogaards were arrested and on 20 January 2007, Van Rooyen and Gouws were arrested at a residential complex in Lyttleton, Centurion.

Bogaards is out on bail of R50 000.
- SAPA
Read more on:    boeremag  |  herman van rooyen
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Breather for EFF

2014-09-01 21:39
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
8 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Travel

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is a good day to network and share your ideas and thoughts with your colleagues and friends. Information overload is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.