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Judge dismisses ‘new facts’ in Pienaar bail hearing

2021-05-19  Staff Reporter

Judge dismisses ‘new facts’ in Pienaar bail hearing
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Windhoek High Court judge Herman January yesterday denied Gustav Pienaar bail.

Pienaar lodged a bail application on “new facts” after he was put on his defence by Windhoek High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg.

It is alleged by the State that Pienaar killed his girlfriend and mother of his then two-year-old son by stabbing her once on the chest with a knife with a 22cm blade on 8 May 2018.

He is charged with one count of murder read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act for stabbing Magde Christina Cloete to death, one count of assault by threat for threatening to kill Hilaria Amukoto and one count of defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice for hiding or destroying the knife used to kill the deceased.

However, yesterday Judge January found that the only new fact in Pienaar’s application is what he terms government’s financial crisis, which would compromise his reliance on a special diet due to illness.

The judge further said that this fact was not part of Pienaar’s original grounds and as such, the court is not prone to adjudicate on issues not raised in the initial papers. 

In my view, issues and grounds should be crystalised beforehand to the court so that the court and respondent know what to prepare for, this is likewise applicable in bail applications, the judge said when he shot down the application.

However, the judge said, as the applicant testified in the lower court that he is poor and has no money, he could ask assistance from someone to pay bail, and he can now also ask someone to cater for his special diet.

He further said that while in his view it is unlikely that Pienaar will interfere with State witnesses at this late stage of the case, he is fully conversant with his case and is aware that he was put on his defence because he is facing a strong prima facie case. 

If convicted, the judge added, he is likely to receive a lengthy period of imprisonment for murder and this expectation may prompt him to rather abscond and not face the consequences of his actions.

He denied guilt and put the blame for the murder on one of the State witnesses, Dina Smith.

Pienaar who is conducting his own defence after several lawyers withdrew from his case because of unrealistic instructions, will return to court today for submissions on the verdict.

He remains in custody at the section for trial-awaiting inmates at the Windhoek Correctional Facility.

The State is represented by Marthino Olivier.


2021-05-19  Staff Reporter

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