2007-12-18 : Boeremag bungle to cost security minister

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2007-12-18 : Boeremag bungle to cost security minister

Postby GOSA » Wed, 2008-01-09 14:36

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1 ... 230C790432

Boeremag bungle to cost security minister
Zelda Venter
December 18 2007 at 10:07AM

A prominent Klerksdorp doctor, falsely implicated in aiding the Boeremag coup attempt, is to receive damages from the Minister of Safety and Security.

Police swooped on Dr Marthinus Maartens' home five years ago following allegations that he was hiding an arsenal of military weapons to aid the Boeremag. The search revealed nothing. The weapons he did have were all licensed.

He was arrested and charged for possession of a Luger antique pistol and a target shooting pistol he had kept in his safe for his brother. (Maartens had a letter from his brother stating that the latter was working in Botswana and his brother had given him permission to keep it on his behalf. These two firearms also had valid licences).

Charges were withdrawn against him three months later. The reason given was "there is no prospect of successful prosecution".

Pretoria high court Judge Pierre Rabie found that the police had overstepped their boundaries and that the arrest and prosecution of Maartens was malicious.

He ordered that Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula had to pay Maartens for damages that he can prove he suffered.

Maartens testified that on December 6 2002 about 20 SAPS members swooped on their house early in the morning.

It was stated on the search warrant that they aimed at obtaining evidence against Maartens linking him to the Boeremag and to charges relating to terrorism and high treason.

They suspected that he was hiding weapons and explosives.

When only two weapons could be found, which were above board, the police said all was in order and they were about to leave the premises.

However, a Director Le Grange, who headed the operation, following a phone call she had received, insisted that Maartens be arrested.

The judge said from the evidence before court it was clear the operation was a disaster.

He also said it was clear that Maartens was not guilty of possession of unlawful weapons and ammunition.

He took exception to the fact that Le Grange received instructions to arrest the doctor without good reason.

"In my opinion the police in this case misused their powers," the judge said.

This article was originally published on page 3 of Pretoria News on December 18, 2007
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