Al­leged bo­gus lawyer de­mands sin­gle cell to pre­pare for her trial

Pretoria News Weekend - - NEWS - RAAHIL SAIN Brenda War­dle

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

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