Ratte’s freedom bid fails

2010-10-06 14:17

Rightwinger Willem Ratte and nine men arrested with him last week lost an urgent court bid for their immediate release.

Judge George Webster turned down the 10 men’s application in the Gauteng North High Court in Pretoria for their release, the return of all of their possessions, and an interdict to stop the police from “threatening and intimidating” them.

Ratte and the nine, who all stay in a dormitory on Ratte’s farm Eenzaamheid, were arrested during a police raid on the farm last Thursday.

The raid was ordered after police received information that there was a large number of arms and ammunition on the farm and that people were receiving military training there.

Ratte and the others launched an urgent application for their release the next day, on Friday, but their application was only heard in the high court on Monday.

They have already appeared in the Witbank Magistrates’ Court in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga, in connection with the alleged illegal possession of dagga, firearms and ammunition.

Their attorney, Daan Mostert, said they would probably apply for bail when they appeared in the magistrates court again next Monday.

Unlawful arrest
The 10 applicants alleged they had been arrested unlawfully, but Webster found that their arrest had been lawful.

He said it was common cause that unlicensed firearms were found on the premises that belonged to persons other than the applicants.

A sniffer dog discovered a dagga plantation on the farm and police seized two laptops and cellphones for further forensic investigation.

The arresting officer, Warrant Officer Joseph Mahlangu, said in an affidavit that the men may be charged with treason once the investigation against them had been completed.

Mahlangu said he had to arrest all of them because arrested persons tended to turn around and point the finger at others as being in the illegal possession of firearms, dagga and ammunition.

Webster said it had not been necessary for the arresting officer to consider the explanations of each individual with regard to the possession of the firearms.

“The police was (sic) permitted to arrest all of them on the discovery of the firearms. It would have been impractical to get an explanation from each of them about their reasons for the possession,” the judge said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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.


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.