Alleged bogus lawyer demands single cell to prepare for her trial
AN ALLEGED fake lawyer, who provided legal analysis to news organisations for years, was back in the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court yesterday to complain that she did not have a single cell at the prison and that her arrest was unlawful.
Brenda Wardle told the court that she intended to bring an urgent application before the Port Elizabeth High Court.
“When an arrest is unlawful, the sub-detention is unlawful,” she said.
Wardle was meant to confirm yesterday whether or not she was trial ready, as she is conducting her own defence.
At her previous court appearance, Wardle cited issues around illhealth and that she was not receiving the correct dosage of medication while being incarcerated in prison – a problem which has since been rectified.
However, at her latest court appearance yesterday, Wardle said she was entitled to a single prison cell which would make the environment conducive for her to prepare for her trial.
“I wrote a letter to the state and I was going to challenge it based on a semi-urgent application – I am entitled to a single cell,” she said.
“I know the Minister of Correctional Services personally,” added Wardle.
She shot to fame during the highly publicised murder trial of Paralympian Oscar Pistorius.
Wardle was interviewed both by SABC and the BBC TV as a legal analyst.
The 56-year old is accused of pretending to be a lawyer and offering “services” to a convicted murderer.
The state alleges that during April 2009 and August 2013, Wardle was paid R538 766 to assist jailed Stephanus van Aardt, who was requesting early release on parole.
The state alleges that Wardle pretended to be an attorney.
She failed to bring an application for Van Aardt’s early release.
Van Aardt, an Eastern Cape dairy farmer in Somerset East, who was convicted of murder in 2007 and sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment for the assault and death of 15-year-old Elliot Magabane, was as a result not eligible to have his term of imprisonment converted.
The so-called legal analyst and author was arrested in East London in June.
Wardle evaded court for more than a year. She was denied bail last month. Magistrate Lionel Lindoor insisted that her trial needed to start.
“As far as I am concerned you are in lawful custody and you will have to take that up with another court.
“We are here today… to reach a stage where the trial has to start,” said Lindoor.
State advocate Tjaart Van Zyl asked for a brief adjournment so that a single cell could be arranged for the alleged fake lawyer.
The case was postponed until September 11 for Wardle to indicate whether she was trial ready. – ANA