ConCourt to hear Boeremag escapees case

2012-05-02 22:46

Johannesburg - Modimolle farmer Jacobus Bogaards will challenge his prison sentence for hiding two Boeremag escapees in a hearing at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg on Thursday.

In November Bogaards successfully appealed the two-year sentence suspended for five years which was meted down on him by the Modimolle Regional Court in terms of contravening sections 11 and 12 of the Terrorism Act.

That was for harbouring and concealing Rudi Gouws and Herman van Rooyen and not reporting their escape.

They had been arrested and charged with murder, sabotage and several counts of terrorism under the Internal Security Act in what is known as the "Boeremag trial" when they escaped from Pretoria's C-Max maximum security prison in 2006.

Bogaards had also been charged in the alternative in terms of section 115(e) of the Correctional Services Act.

The Supreme Court of Appeal set aside his conviction under the Terrorism Act but instead, it convicted him on the alternative charge, under section 115(e), which criminalises the harbouring or concealment of escaped inmates and imposed a sentence of five year's imprisonment.

Bogaards intends to challenge his conviction on the basis that inmates may only be lawfully incarcerated in terms of a valid warrant of detention.

Since the escapees were held in terms of a court order, not a valid warrant, he argues that they were held unlawfully and could not be considered inmates as required by the Correctional Services Act.

He believes his conviction is therefore unlawful and his sentence is improper.

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