22 January 2013

Namibia: Court Puts End to Urgent Applications By Pienaar

Windhoek — An eleventh urgent application to be kept in a hospital rather than a jail cell by habitual fraudster, Adriaan Pienaar, turned out very bad for him in the Windhoek High Court on Wednesday.

This time around Judge President, Petrus Damaseb, not only dismissed Pienaar's application but ordered that should Pienaar wish to lodge another urgent application, he should first get the permission of the High Court.

The Judge President, as with all the other judges that had to deal with Pienaar, has had it with the alleged swindler's shenanigans. Previously when Acting Judge Petrus Unengu warned Pienaar that he could face such a decision from the High Court, he told Judge Unengu bluntly that in such a scenario he would appeal to the Supreme Court.

Clearly exasperated lawyer Ndlovu from the Government Attorney's Office told the court that it has become tiresome and an extreme waste of time and money to leave everything on one's desk and rush to court because Pienaar has brought another urgent application. He said Pienaar must instead take his time to compile a complete and substantiated application that can be heard during normal court proceedings.

Pienaar blames the police at the holdings cells for not completing his affidavits and documents for submission to the court.

In an ironic twist of events, Pienaar could now face a charge of forgery after it emerged that the psychiatrist who signed an affidavit claiming that Pienaar suffers from a severe case of claustrophobia denied that he signed the affidavit. Police are investigating the matter. Pienaar, who is accused of defrauding scores of Namibian businessmen, wants the court to order that he be kept in a hospital ward rather than a jail cell. He claims to be suffering from a debilitating form of claustrophobia that could cause his death if he is kept in the confines of a police cell and alleges that he has already suffered several attacks that left him in a comatose condition, and has made repeated attempts to have the court order that he be kept in the relative luxury of a hospital ward under police guard until his trial is over.

Pienaar (50), who is a South African citizen, was arrested on September 21 on several charges of fraud relating to allegations that he had bought goods at a total cost of more than half a million Namibia dollars from various businesses in the south of Namibia, and then failed to pay for them.

He was free on bail on nine other fraud charges dating from 2009 at the time of his latest arrest. Pienaar, who is disputing the lawfulness of his arrest and detention, says in a handwritten affidavit which he filed with the High Court in one of his earlier applications that he bought the goods without making any false statements towards the complainants. He claims that the charges against him should not be criminal, but rather the subject of a civil case about a failure to pay debts, and he should never have been arrested. Pienaar also informed the court that he has been diagnosed as suffering from a "serious anxiety disorder", in the form of claustrophobia. In his affidavit he is claiming that this condition is so serious that he could die within minutes.

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