Pregnant woman held in airport cells

2010-10-07 08:22

Pretoria - A pregnant woman was thrown into police cells on Wednesday for alleged fraud in 2005, about which she apparently knows absolutely nothing.

While 25-year-old Lizamari de Klerk was detained in a storeroom at the Sinoville police station in Pretoria on Wednesday afternoon, neither the docket nor the investigating officer could be found.

Police spokesperson Ben Strydom said a warrant for De Klerk's arrest was issued in 2005 due to cheque fraud.

Apparently she had rented a trailer from a place in Sinoville and paid by cheque. When this cheque was refused by the bank, a fraud case was opened against her.

De Klerk said - speaking through a small window of the storeroom - on Wednesday that, since the warrant was issued five years ago, she has reported three cases to the police, bought two vehicles, opened two bank accounts and was abroad on honeymoon earlier this year.

She has been living at the same address for the past five years and her telephone number hasn't changed.

In those five years the police never tracked her down or informed her about the warrant, she said.

According to Strydom, De Klerk appeared on the police system due to the arrest warrant.

When someone is the complainant in a case, the police don't check the system to see if that person is wanted, said Strydom.

De Klerk was arrested on Wednesday morning as she was about to go through customs at OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg, shortly before she and her husband, Riaan de Klerk, were to fly to Namibia for business.

She was detained in a cell at the airport for 90 minutes before she was fetched by detectives from the Sinoville police station.

"No-one wanted to tell me anything. The more I asked them what was going on, the ruder they became.

"We had to find out on our own that it has to do with cheque fraud."

Vikki Terblance, 52, said when she heard her daughter had been arrested on Wednesday, the only thing she felt was disbelief.

"My child isn't a crook."

De Klerk, who is four months pregnant, had to spend Wednesday night behind bars and will appear in the Pretoria North Magistrate's Court on Thursday.