Woman hysterical after acquittal

2014-07-29 19:44


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - A woman who was acquitted of defrauding the Road Accident Fund became hysterical in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Tuesday and disrupted proceedings.

Johanna Magdalena Serfontein, 49, seemed stunned and speechless when Magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg told her she was free to go.

As she stood in the dock looking down, she started weeping hysterically, and seemed as though she was about to collapse.

The magistrate told her for the second time that she could go, and then adjourned proceedings to avoid chaos.

As Serfontein struggled out of the dock on crutches, assisted by her husband, she exclaimed loudly: "Thank you God, thank you Jesus, I love you Jesus, oh, how I love you Jesus!"

Her husband, also in tears, remarked: "It's not nice to be falsely accused."

A relieved Serfontein hugged her lawyer Legal Aid attorney Hayley Lawrence and then continued to wail and thank Jesus loudly, as she moved slowly down the passage from the courtroom.

According to the charge sheet, Serfontein had allegedly reversed her Toyota Hilux into a car parked in public parking at the Kuils River branch of Nedbank in November 2009.

According to prosecutor Annette de Lange the damage was minimal but through attorneys specialising in RAF claims she had claimed R155 745 from the RAF.

The magistrate said Serfontein had previously succeeded with a similar RAF claim, but the RAF rules had since changed and claims of this kind were no longer accepted.

The RAF had in fact declined Serfontein's claim, Sonnenberg said.

She said the case was based on circumstantial evidence and to find her guilty the inference drawn from the circumstances "that she had knowingly lodged an unacceptable claim" had to be the only inference that could reasonably be drawn.

Sonnenberg said there were other possibilities, one being that she was not aware that the rules had changed.

For this reason, Serfontein was given the benefit of the doubt.


Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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.