The legal team representing Senekal businessman Andre Pienaar has argued that their client is being mistreated by the courts. The 51-year-old has bipolar disorder, but his lawyers believe the judge – who denied bail for Pienaar earlier this week – is using this medical condition against the arrested protester.
He was apprehended last week, following violent protests inside the local magistrates court. The trial of two suspected farm murderers took place, but chaos erupted, and Pienaar was heavily involved in the reported anarchy.
Senekal protester hit by “anticipatory punishment” – lawyers
Pienaar is appealing the decision to reject his bail application. His lawyers state that there are too many “unsubstantiated inferences” made by Judge Mlangeni. Despite fearing that his release would lead to him committing further offences, the defence argues that “anticipatory punishment” cannot be doled out here:
“There are a whole lot of grounds that were raised by the magistrate that we have to respond to but we as the legal believe there are sufficient grounds for him to be released on bail. We believe the application will be successful.”
“The denial of bail is used as a form of anticipatory punishment. The court penalised Pienaar for having an underlying medical condition — he is bipolar — and made unsubstantiated inferences that no bail condition can prevent him from committing further offences, or disturb the public peace, or jeopardise the criminal justice system.”
The application filed by Andre Pienaar’s legal team
Why Andre Pienaar has been refused bail
On Tuesday, the judge outlined the reasons why Andre Pienaar would remain behind bars.
- Andre Pienaar’s attempt to access the holding cells “could have released dangerous criminals”, undermining the rule of law.
- The defendant’s attack on a female police officer shows “he doesn’t hesitate to use violence”, according to the judge.
- By accessing details of court witnesses, Pienaar was blamed for “a deliberate attempt to jeopardise a criminal investigation.”
- Justice Mlangeni said Pienaar told the court earlier that he had close ties with the community, but the legal expert argued that “this was the same community he allegedly attacked”.
— lydia van der merwe (@DerLydia) October 13, 2020
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