New Era (Windhoek)

21 February 2013

Namibia: Pienaar Launches Yet Another Application

Windhoek — After being barred by Judge President Petrus Damaseb from bringing urgent applications to the High Court, fraud suspect Adriaan Pienaar has seemingly devised yet another statagem to get past the judicial proscription.

Previously Pienaar bombarded the High Court with urgent applications against the Minister of Safety and Security, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Health and Social Services on the basis he needs to be detained in a less crowded cell, citing health considerations.

The Judge President on January 16 ordered that Pienaar may not lodge urgent applications against the ministers. Pienaar has now set his sights on the Prosecutor General and the magistrates who are to preside over his case.

In another urgent application that started before Acting Judge Esi Schimming-Chase he wants the High Court to order the magistrates of Mariental, Keetmanshoop, Lüderitz and Grootfontein to give him bail hearing dates within 14 days of the judgment of the High Court.

Should they fail to do that he wants the court to order that the cases against him in the courts in those towns be struck from the roll and that he be summoned to appear only when the State is "ready" to proceed.

Last week Tuesday, Acting Judge Schimming-Chase postponed the matter to Tuesday this week to give the different magistrates an opportunity to file answering affidavits to Pienaar's suit. These have now arrived by facsimile printouts and the judge granted the application for condonement by the Office of the Prosecutor General represented by chief prosecutor, Danie Small.

Acting Judge Schimming-Chase again postponed the matter to Tuesday next week to allow Pienaar and herself sufficient time to study the answering affidavits and for Pienaar to submit an answering affidavit of his own should he wish to do so.

Pienaar (50), who is a South African citizen, was arrested on September 21 on several charges of fraud, relating to allegations that he bought goods worth over N$500 000 from various businesses in the south for which he failed to pay.

He was free on bail on nine other fraud charges dating from 2009 at the time of his latest arrest and detention.

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 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 not have been arrested in the first place. 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 claims that this condition is so serious that he could die within minutes if placed in a confined place.

Clinical psychologist, William Chiremba, stated in a report dated August 27, 2010 that Pienaar suffers from Specific Phobia - Claustrophobia Type with a differential diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. At the time of that report, Pienaar was in custody on other fraud charges, emanating from crimes allegedly committed between May and November 2009.

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