News24

Stepdad compares Barbie to Mandela

2010-05-14 08:30

Johannesburg - Cézanne Visser, who will start her jail sentence on Monday, has been compared by her stepfather to Nelson Mandela.

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on Thursday dismissed Visser's application for leave to appeal her conviction in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

Visser was found guilty and sentenced for 11 sex-related charges, including indecently assaulting two teenage girls and soliciting a teenager to commit indecent acts; indecently assaulting two women and benefiting from the indecent assault of a third; defrauding a children's home and possession and manufacturing of child pornography.

Appeal Judges Mohammed Navsa and Belinda van Heerden rejected Visser's application with one sentence: "The application for leave to appeal is denied."

Visser was "shocked, disappointed and in tears" when she heard of the decision from her lawyers and her advocate, Johann Engelbrecht, on Thursday morning.

Visser will spend a last weekend at home before reporting to authorities to start her seven-year jail term.

System failed her

Her stepfather, Professor Johan Lemmer, said the system had failed her and she should see herself "as a Nelson Mandela".

Lemmer said he felt "bitter and upset".

"But there's nothing I can do about it, besides saying the legal system has failed her completely.

"That's why I'm saying I want to get the message through to her about Mr Mandela this weekend, so she can go to prison feeling positive on Monday.

"If we have to accept that this is the last weekend she'll be with us for a long time, I can assure you that we will most definitely be spoiling Cézanne.

"Everything she and her mom (Susan Lemmer) want to get or do, they will get and do. We'll make this weekend as enjoyable as possible. Cézanne deserves it. She's a beautiful and a religious woman, not at all like she was depicted during the trial.

"Cézanne's mother will go with her when she has to report to prison on Monday."

Engelbrecht said on Thursday that, according to the conditions of her release, she will have to report to the court within 48 hours to start serving her term in prison.

"Since the 48 hours end on a Saturday, she is allowed to report to the prison on Monday."