Man accused of defrauding wealthy women goes on hunger strike at Stellenbosch prison

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Rudi Brits. (Rudi Brits, Facebook)
Rudi Brits. (Rudi Brits, Facebook)
  • Rudi Brits, an alleged criminal casanova, refuses to eat because he wants to be transferred back to Pollsmoor.
  • He claims he was pushed out of a police van and treated improperly.
  • A prison official has, however, testified that Brits has been treated well, despite his complaints.

Alleged criminal casanova Rudi Brits has refused to eat any food since being transferred to prison in Stellenbosch.

He apparently wants to be moved back to Pollsmoor prison, the Stellenbosch Magistrate's Court heard on Wednesday.

Police have alleged that Brits, 41, befriended white, wealthy women on a social media platform, which led to romantic relationships.

After moving in with the victims, police claimed he would borrow substantial amounts of money - and then disappear with the money and expensive household goods.

Rudi Brits
Rudi Brits.

The court heard on Wednesday that Brits wants to leave the Stellenbosch prison.

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"He said he cannot talk to me. He was previously in our prison and always just said he doesn't want to be there," testified prison official Erlene Govender.

She said he refused to give his reasons for the strike, but that she had heard about Pollsmoor from other officials.

Brits was placed in a single cell after his admission on Thursday, to be monitored by a nurse.

Disadvantages

While the nurse explained the disadvantages of a hunger strike, she would take his vitals twice a day.

His meals would also be weighed before and after being placed in his cell. Brits claimed that police pushed him out of their van and he injured his ankle.

In a letter read in court, he indicated that his plea for proper medical attention was not properly attended to.

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He added that he feared being intimidated and manipulated during his bail application. Brits has been in custody since November.

Dressed in a grey jacket and black pants, he consulted with his lawyer often and appeared frustrated at times.

Cooperate

Govender testified that Brits regularly complained, refused to cooperate with the nurse during assessments, and was rude to officials.

She said she was informed that Brits was pushed because he had refused to get out of the police van.

Referring to a medical assessment form, she said a nurse had found no bruising or swelling around his ankle. 

"Mr Rudi Brits has requested to make phone calls much more than other inmates. All remand detainees wear yellow uniforms, but Mr Brits refuses to wear yellow uniforms."

Despite these, she said she treated every inmate equally and did not hold incidents against any of the prisoners.

Magistrate Cyril Krautz said he would have to subpoena the nurse to testify.

At this, Brits accused the court of "playing for time".

Krautz told Brits he was not going to tell him what to do.

"... I was also Covid positive and made means to be here to finalise this case as soon as possible... I am not wasting anyone's time. Be careful of the accusations you want to swing around."

Krautz added he had presided over the matter, despite it being his day off.

Brits apologised and said he was merely frustrated with delays in his bail application.

The matter will resume on 12 August.

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