Court hears of man's desperate plea before farmer allegedly runs him over

2018-04-25 20:07
Johannes Petrus van Niekerk (Charné Kemp, Netwerk24)

Johannes Petrus van Niekerk (Charné Kemp, Netwerk24)

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The Hartswater Magistrate's Court heard on Wednesday how a man pleaded with a farmer to allow him to cut through his farm so that he could avoid protests, but that the farmer allegedly ran him over instead.

"I pleaded with Mr Van Niekerk to let us pass through," Shimmy Mosienyane told the court.

In the dock was the farmer, Johannes Petrus van Niekerk, who was applying for his release on bail, Netwerk24 reported.

"Van Niekerk said more than once that he didn't want k*****s on his farm and drove over us with his bakkie. He drove over me, but left when he saw there were eye witnesses," the court heard.

Van Niekerk, 63, is accused of attempted murder, crimen injuria and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. He handed himself over to police on Monday.

Safety fears

He appeared in the dock while the Economic Freedom Fighters held a peaceful protest outside the court. 

Mosienyana, who has had to have a back operation as a result of his injuries, was with a group at the time.

The incident allegedly happened last Friday during violent protests in Hartswater and Pampierstad. 

Van Niekerk's advocate Sakkie Nel, said the protest outside court should not be a reason to deny Van Niekerk bail due to safety fears.

However, prosecutor James Dada told the court that Van Niekerk was a flight risk because he had initially fled before handing himself over three days later. The crime scene and his bakkie still had to undergo forensic testing. 

The matter was postponed because the investigating officer was absent and could not testify whether he was able to take Mosienyana's statement at the time.

This, Nel described as unacceptable.

Protest 

Meanwhile, businesses in Hartswater, Jan Kempdorp and Pampierstad opened their doors again after several days of unrest in which roads were blocked, shops were looted and more than 100 people arrested.

This was despite fears that the nationwide South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) strike on Wednesday would reignite protests.

The owner of a petrol station said: "Even though we were worried and closed our businesses, the police arrested people. These are not service delivery protests, but people who want to steal."

His views were confirmed by a municipal worker, who said criminal elements were behind the protests.

Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas held an urgent meeting with the mayors of nine municipalities and police to deal with the crisis.

An intervention plan was announced.

"In some instances, the protests were about service delivery, and in other cases, deeds were committed for self-gain. We will give attention to issues of service delivery, but we condemn the looting and destruction of property that impacts on the rights of others."

The intervention plan includes that municipalities should have regular meetings.

Read more on:    courts

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