Assault charges dropped
PLETTENBERG BAY NEWS – The case between DA councillor, Johann Brummer and members of the Bitou Municipal Law Enforcement Unit, charged with assault, was struck from the court roll on Thursday, January 12.
Brummer laid the charges consequent to his arrest and being charged with riotous behaviour, following the March 2011 disruption of a meeting of the Oversight Committee, a sub-committee of the then ANC-led Bitou Municipal Council.
The case appeared before Magistrate Isaac van der Merwe in the Knysna Magistrate’s Court. Brummer was not present.
He said, “Last I heard of the matter was when I met with Advocate Capes after you [this reporter] had reported that the NPP considered the matter to be frivolous. He assured me at that time that the matter was going ahead and that the NPP had never and would never make such a statement. He assured me that as complainant I would be notified to attend court when next it came before court.”
The matter had previously appeared before the court on August 25, 2011. At that time Hardy Mills, legal representative of the accused, said that the prosecutor had felt that the case was frivolous, held no merit and that the prospect of success for the state was zero.
According to Hardy Mills, the state applied for a postponement in order to make a final decision whether to prosecute after discussions with the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and a senior prosecutor in George.
Mills said that he objected to the request on the grounds that there was no crime committed by his clients; the charge was frivolous and politically motivated; his clients’ reputation and good name suffered as long as this case was pending against them; and the state had had more than enough time to make a decision. He said that Van Der Merwe subsequently refused the request for postponement and struck the matter from the roll.
“Considering that the need to send the docket to DPP was apparently as a result of his pronouncements purportedly on behalf of the prosecution, it seems strange that his objection to the delay was not challenged,” said Brummer.
According to the clerk of the court the matter has indeed been struck from the roll.
Full story available on page 12 of Knysna Plett Herald, Thursday 19 January 2012.
ARTICLE: CANDICE LUDICK, KNYSNA-PLETT HERALD JOURNALIST