Your Life - Love It - Live

5) TRIAL

Dishonesty and Arrogance deserve no mercy. Speak truth, question assumptions.

T.G

10 min read

Trial

James 1:2-4 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

The trail started in the middle of winter nearly two years after my father had died. Nearly two years I couldn’t leave the district. Needing to report to the local magistrates court every Monday morning for much of that time. I was out on bail. Could do transport to fresh produce markets in bigger centers like PE, East London & Bloemfontein, but not go back to university.

Online study wasn’t a thing yet. The farm lines had such slow download speed & upload documents, What’s that? Dial-up ding ding :) It was one of those winters where water pipes weren’t just freezing, but bursting on the cold mornings and one of my main concerns was Brent coping with the animals. He had shown no interest thus far in any livestock care. A theme continued for the rest of his life.

The first day walking into the court room, there was inspector Ras. The ‘expert’ state witness that had made such a damning statement. Pausing & studying the man as I walked past I had never, and to this day still never seen a more nervous person. If anyone had gone boo, he’d have pissed in his pants right there. Maybe even shat himself to? Sweating & fidgeting so much, indescribable. Gave the phrase shitting oneself whole new meaning. Advocate Kellerman, the prosecution Advocate knew he would be a terrible witness so didn’t bother putting him on the stand to testify. Instead, he enrolled the service of a professor Botha from Bloemfontein.

Supposedly a pathologist, but while on the witness stand boasted about spending an average of 22 days a month in court. So basically, he was a professional state hitman. A very dogmatic man which impresses judges but most disgusting the way he boasted about how much gunshot wound experience he had from “testing on dead terrorists on the border...” 22 days a month is pretty much as many working days, court room days as there are in a month. So, he styled as an ‘expert pathologist’ but how much time is there for pathology work if you’re doing that much time in court? His primary income is going from courtroom to courtroom giving ‘expert evidence’ on behalf of the state. Because of the amount of time spent in court he was very polished in courtroom proceedings and dogmatic in his replies. Maybe impressive for judges, but he’s a state hitman & lying is lying no matter how impressive & dogmatic it is displayed and worded. Tristan will always regret not asking his relationship with the Broederbond. Though with shoes like that & position at that university... think it’s pretty obvious. In an organisation with a stated mission to ‘werk die engelse uit’... In Middelburg the local 'Broeders were obsessed with ‘die fokken Engelse nes’. When Dr Van de Spuy saw him, he commented that ‘we’re going to have problems with that one’. The irony is that once Botha had made his godlike judgement on the witness stand he spent the rest of his time backing down as Dr Van de Spuy kept passing Advocate Bridgeman notes saying ask him this or ask him that and anyone could see that if just the two experts in the case could argue head to head instead of the roundabout route of through advocates Botha as dogmatic as he is would’ve backed down. I noted that both were quoting text out of a textbook on the subject written by Professor Smith who had interviewed/grilled me that afternoon only a few weeks before.

I would have said Botha was just mistaken. But for the fact of how dogmatic he was and that he made a very good living ‘spending 22 days a month’ going from courtroom to courtroom giving evidence on behalf of the state. So yeah, no, he’s a liar. It’s this crap of someone styling as an ‘expert’ with ‘impressive to judges credentials’ and I know for a fact that the excrement flowing from between his lips is nothing but bullshit. I’m sitting in the dock looking at the stairs going down to cells for the found guilty below the court house. First stop on a road to life fucked in prison and wonder to myself how many innocent people have been sent down those or similar stairs by this lying cunt? Or similar lying cunts making a living as ‘experts’ lying on behalf of the state? Justice system? Or injustice system? When investigating police are stuck in an echo chamber of ‘it’s murder’ and ‘this one did it’ they discard any relevant evidence that doesn’t suit their case. Their focus is on proving a case rather than looking at all evidence critically. We know this as the magistrate herself told me they lied to her during the inquest. One of their reasons for murder quoted to me a few times was “there’s no note” “where’s the note”? My mother points out that the last page of my fathers diary (yes, my father kept a diary) was a suicide note. They didn’t even bother taking a copy. Justice system? Or injustice system? Their whole case rested on ‘there’s no powder? Where’s the powder’? Something I was wondering about myself and what interference had there been? When one of these pricks was going off at me about this “there’s no powder” for the first time I was thinking to myself ‘what have you fuckers done’? Why is there no powder? Off the top of my head, I could think of a multitude of reasons but my first thoughts were foul play. How much cleaning had the wound had by these police prior to autopsy in Port Elizabeth? In court photographs being thrown around I could see the wound had been cleaned. Oh and there is powder on my fathers hand. Oh, the pathologist didn’t open the wound to see if there was residue inside “because he didn’t want to cause stress to the family”. I’m thinking how much more stress is being charged for murder? My father was one of the few people who had no neck. His head sat & swivelled directly on his shoulders. He always wore collared shirts and that day a baseball cap. I’m quite sure if police had bothered testing his clothes, they would have found their powder. But it didn’t suit their case. They would have had no case. You wouldn’t be reading these pages now.

The pathologist from Port Elizabeth comes in. What a piece of work. This old fart a Dr Ivan Lang who can hardly walk and needs to sit while in the stand wearing a brownish grey / cream safari style suit that looks like he’s just stolen it from a dead homeless person he’s recently done an autopsy on and run it past the dry cleaner a few times. His tie was the loudest I’ve seen with a massive picture of a naked woman lewdly curving down its length like a snake. My mother points out this is the same Dr that messed up with Steve Biko which ultimately led to his death – Murdered in custody! Stand to be corrected but think he was the assistant district surgeon for Port Elizabeth area when police arrested Steve Biko. Like the police he worked for the State and danced to their tune. My mother says to me this guy should be in prison himself or at least barred from the profession he’s so incompetent let alone here giving witness as an ‘expert’. Still working for the state and all the benefits. Justice system? Or injustice system? Steve Biko being one of the few Black Consciousness leaders and anti apartheid activists I truly respected. Still do. The death of Steve Biko while in custody was one of those watershed moments in South Africa’s history shifting focus of the world’s attention upon the plight of black South Africa at that time.

Studying proceedings affecting the future of my life I couldn’t help thinking this is a microcosm of the best and worst of South Africa. What made the country great. What tore it apart. Particularly Afrikaans South Africa. There was Louis Oosthuizen and Dr Van de Spuy, two guys as upstanding and honest as you’ll ever find. People like them make others including myself proud of their Afrikaans heritage. Then there were the other blood sucklings off the state Afrikaners. The one’s with a mindset that if you spoke English in the home, you’re a ‘fokken soutie’ and public enemy no 1. Lying Botha from Bloemfontein. The police & their multitude of state witnesses. Prosecuting Advocate Kellerman who I observed had a severe temper problem.

Thinking to myself that could be useful. As he became increasingly frustrated as point after point of the states case fell over under scrutiny I could observe the blood rising in the veins of his neck. And they call us Rooinek? I had a premonition that this guy is not going to live to a great age and will probably die young. Tempers like that kill people. Think he passed away about two years after that trial ended still in early to mid 40’s. Kay Donian Die Winter Miskiet blood hounding around reminded me of what one of the young Afrikaans farmers I was friends with said “Ja, South Africans will kill for a boodle and a bakkie”. (Kill for an inheritance and a ute). By boodle he meant erfenis. Free money – yay! Words I’d remember later when far worse evil engulfed my world. Why is it that ‘family’ feel entitled to pillage and steal from one another?

We’ll study this in more detail when I describe being traumatised by the ‘oestrogen curse’. Primary motive for the writing of this book.

One day Murray and I noted amusingly that both of us and the judge all had the same old boys tie on. Not that it makes a difference in outcomes. At least I had a sense there will be impartial judgement. Not some bloody 'Broeder with an evil agenda. I noted that my brother Brent, Murray and the judge as well as Nick Mallett the then very successful coach of the Springbuck Rugby team had all been through the same house at school as well. Just interesting coincidence.

I was cross examined for a day and a half. After the initial onslaught of bullshit regurgitated out of Kay Donian Die Winter Miskiets mouth I could see Advocate Kellermans angry frustration begin to rise. During one questioning session he was saying ‘I don’t know, pause I don’t know’ and before he got his question in I answered directly back “no you don’t know”. The judge looked up quickly as being cross examined you’re only supposed to speak when asked questions. There’s a lull in proceedings. Effect of slowly dismantling this prosecuting advocates godly image of himself. Shortly after that there’s another lull and I look down at the police sitting silently smug not far from me and I think right, time for a bit of reckoning. I’m thinking of the two years of being called a murderer. Insinuations of being a murderer by newspapers. And the inner rage I felt at the way they treated our staff and us as a family. I turn to the judge and say “just want to put on record that no matter what outcome to this case I really object to the police collecting our staff for questioning, then slapping them around calling them lying Kaffirs”.

I knew the judge would erupt. “What!?” “You What!?” No more of this talking through an advocate stuff or waiting for a person to take the stand. Judge is talking directly with police now. This is 1998, not 1968. There are many black court orderlies and the judge is noticeably uncomfortable. I observe the police melt into the back of their seats. Of course, they deny it.

That it probably wasn’t these two particular police from Middelburg, Eben Olivier and Billie Lombard to me was beside the point. I rather suspected Murder & Robbery from PE who, you guessed “are not here for nothing hey”. To me they were all present when I was being interrogated the following day. To me they were one entity, the police, working at tax payer expense on behalf of the state to fuck up my life. When they were busy denying it, I thought to follow up with the exact words spoken to me by our staff in Afrikaans with same emphasis. Do I include the foot stomp? Not being really relevant to the case I saw rather an opportunity while they were on the back foot to get them to admit the pressure put on them by certain members of the community that they would certainly normally deny. So, I turned again to the judge and said, “for all their bumbling I don’t actually blame the police because they were put under enormous pressure by certain members of the community” and for Advocate Kellermans thought cogs to think about pointed out that Kay Donian Die Winter Miskiet virtually camped at the police station. The judge is questioning the police directly now to which in their squiggling they affirm that they were indeed put under huge pressure by these members of the community. My next angle was to begin breaking down the godlike image of lying Botha from Bloemfontein. But at this point could see Advocate Kellerman knew he had been lied to and I was hoping fearful of another unanticipated embarrassing curve ball. I had a few more up my sleeve namely Billie Lombard pushing and shoving me around previously mentioned trying to get a reaction and fight only two weeks earlier. Eben Oliviers insulting words, the stated mission of the local 'Broederbond and also to begin breaking down Kellerman himself for not putting Ras on the stand and rather seeking out the services of the state hitman. The idea is that by throwing a magnified mirror back on their abominable behaviour one at a time the judge gets increasingly agitated. But the wind was out of the states case and I could see Kellerman was no longer chasing a conviction, but rather an ending. I knew that enough had been said. One has to be careful about breaking down the testimony of any witness especially someone with as much courtroom experience as Botha. Even if you know they’re lying you cannot appear of a vindictive nature to the judge. A happy go lucky easy natured pleasant soul is a far more impressive witness. Enough was said. The state wanted to wrap proceedings up quickly now. Kellerman had tested every area including my left handedness which for some reason became an issue. Not sure why. Obviously in more than a week's trial there were other details like Billie Bifsmil tearful & blubbing at the end but how long do you want this post to be? Being a high court murder trail there will be minutes archived somewhere. Though not of blubbing or crying police. The smirk they had on their faces the week before was gone. The judge read out his judgement of not guilty and Fred Jordaan (a very special man) stood us after for a lovely dinner at one of the restaurants in Grahamstown.

Fred Jordaan being one of those people who make the world special just by being in it.