7de Laan

Thanks to Natalie’s ac­cu­sa­tions, Xan­der’s free­dom is at stake.

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Xan­der’s ( Theo Jan­tjies) court case, where his clerk Natalie (Daniella Dey­sel) ac­cused him of sex­ual as­sault on Tues­day 12 Jan­uary, is in full swing. And fol­low­ing dra­matic wit­ness tes­ti­monies from Xan­der’s sis­ter-in-law Bonita (Hilde­gardt Whites) and his adopted brother Er­rol (Christo Davids) on Wed­nes­day 2 Fe­bru­ary, things aren’t look­ing rosy for Xan­der. “Ev­ery­thing is against him and as a le­gal ex­pert, he knows that his de­fence isn’t solid enough,” Theo ex­plains. On Mon­day 8 Fe­bru­ary, the judge will be ready to de­liver her rul­ing and at this stage, it seems that Xan­der’s about to spend the rest of his life be­hind bars.

METHOD IN HER MAD­NESS

The big­gest frus­tra­tion for Xan­der is that he doesn’t know what Natalie’s mo­tive could be. “He sim­ply can­not fig­ure out why she would do this to him. He gets more and more frus­trated when he doesn’t get any an­swers,” Theo ex­plains. On Wed­nes­day 3 Fe­bru­ary, it’s Natalie’s turn on the wit­ness stand and her tes­ti­mony is shock­ing. Here’s what she says: “On the night of Tues­day 12 Jan­uary, we were work­ing late, fi­nal­is­ing an im­por­tant con­tract. When we were done, Xan­der poured us some wine and one glass turned into two and af­ter the se­cond glass, I stopped but Xan­der kept drink­ing. I wanted to go home but Xan­der started mak­ing com­ments about how sexy I am. He tried to stop me when I headed for the door and he got a bit heavy-handed. He kissed me and when I said ‘No!’, he pinned me down and pulled up my skirt.”

As Natalie bat­tles to con­tinue, Xan­der’s anger gets the bet­ter of him and he jumps up, call­ing Natalie a liar. His lawyer An­dré (Mar­cus Muller) strug­gles to calm down his client and the ten­sion in the court­room builds…

IT’S ALL JUST A BLUR

On Thurs­day 4 Fe­bru­ary, Xan­der and An­dré are caught off-guard when Vanessa (In­grid Paulus) is called to the stand. Natalie’s lawyer El­ritha (Nina Marais) sinks her teeth into Xan­der’s wife while she ner­vously sits on the wit­ness stand and she asks Vanessa about the bribe Vanessa of­fered Natalie on Wed­nes­day 20 Jan­uary, hop­ing that Natalie would drop the charges.

Theo says that Xan­der is speech­less. “He’s shocked. What was she think­ing? But af­ter some in­tro­spec­tion, Xan­der re­alises that Vanessa was des­per­ate and didn’t want to lose her hus­band.” Later that same day, Xan­der’s called to tes­tify and he main­tains that he only had one glass of wine and can’t re­mem­ber the rest of the evening. “He des­per­ately tries to ex­plain how anx­ious any­one would be if they woke up with their trousers un­done and wine bot­tles all over the place and you have no idea what hap­pened. Some­thing sin­is­ter took place and Natalie’s the only per­son who knows the truth,” Theo says.

IS THIS THE END?

The trial con­tin­ues on Fri­day 5 Fe­bru­ary and both An­dré and El­ritha de­liver their clos­ing state­ments, but An­dré’s bid to keep his client out of jail just doesn’t seem to be enough. By Mon­day 8 Fe­bru­ary, there’s a dark cloud hang­ing over the Laan when the judge pre­pares to de­liver her ver­dict. A clearly ner­vous Natalie is seen with El­ritha as they make their way to court. Then, in a mo­ment of weak­ness, we fi­nally get to see why Natalie’s been af­ter Xan­der. She be­gins to talk about how she’d sac­ri­ficed ev­ery­thing to en­sure this day hap­pens and that she has noth­ing more to lose. We just hope that things work out in Xan­der’s favour and that he walks away a free man.

Xan­der is at a loss about his cur­rent le­gal prob­lems.

Natalie’s tes­ti­mony shocks

Xan­der and the court.

Xan­der’s friends fill up the court pews.

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