Max 'blackmailer' guilty, court hears

2011-11-30 21:59

Johannesburg - A Cape Town woman charged with trying to blackmail former Western Cape police chief Lennit Max should be convicted, the Cape Town Regional Court heard on Wednesday.

Belinda Petersen was guilty of attempted extortion, the State contended in closing argument.

She is accused of threatening Max with media exposure of their alleged sexual exploits.

Sakkie Maartens, for Petersen, said the former police clerk was "no angel", but argued that she was entitled to an acquittal on the basis of the "benefit of the doubt".

He said Max had not played open cards with the court.

The hearing resulted from Max's alleged undertaking to secure Petersen a job in the provincial department of community safety, where at the time he was the MEC.

This happened after Petersen's dismissal from the police service, following a disciplinary hearing.

Max, an advocate by profession, had undertaken to represent Petersen at the inquiry, but abandoned her case before the inquiry reached finality.

Petersen claimed that when she became concerned about his fees and asked him about them, he replied that she could not afford him and suggested that she "pay him in kind".

This suggestion allegedly led to three sexual encounters, one in a hotel room, the second at Max's home and the third a

The State's Christenus van der Vijver referred the court to Petersen's testimony that she would never have threatened Max with exposure if he had kept his word to secure her a post in his department while he was provincial MEC.

Judgment is to be handed down on December 7.

  • frans.visserdsb - 2011-12-01 08:08

    so... let me get this straight. A desperate woman gets Max to represents her. She tells him she can no longer afford to pay him. He promises to help her and also to get her a job if she has sex with him. She has sex with him, he dumps her case and reneges on his promise to organise her a job... and she ends up being found guilty of blackmail because she threatens to expose him? he sounds like a real prince... at the very least he should be disbarred from the legal profession...

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