Rob­bers break into SA judge’s home, de­mand ‘Malema file’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Page Title -

PRE­TO­RIA — Two armed men who broke into sus­pended High Court Judge Ma­bel Jansen’s house wanted the court files for EFF leader Julius Malema’s tax case.

The gun­men had de­manded the “Julius Malema file”, News24 can re­veal.

Jansen was pre­sid­ing over the dis­pute be­tween the South African Rev­enue Ser­vice and the Eco­nomic Free­dom Fight­ers leader. At the cen­tre of the dis­pute was the pay­ment of R20m, specif­i­cally R18m in taxes and R2m in in­ter­est for the tax re­port­ing pe­riod 2005 to 2011.

On Tues­day, News24 reported that two men forced their way into Jansen’s Pre­to­ria home in the early hours of Fri­day morn­ing and held Jansen’s long-serv­ing do­mes­tic worker at gun­point.

Jansen was in Europe. Her staff told her about the rob­bery.

Speak­ing on Jansen’s be­half, Kirk Rus­sell of Ab­stergo Com­mu­ni­ca­tions said the men de­manded spe­cific court files.

“With a gun to her head she was asked where the court files are. They specif­i­cally asked for the files of Julius Malema.”

When the woman was un­able to tell them where the file was, the two ran­sacked Jansen’s study. They pulled books and files from the shelves, and the sheets off the beds and turned over mat­tresses. Jansen’s court com­puter was stolen in the rob­bery. Malema told News24 there was a hid­den hand in the mat­ter. In the cur­rent po­lit­i­cal land­scape, “any­thing is pos­si­ble”.

“We are find­ing our­selves in a sit­u­a­tion where the state is presided over by crim­i­nals and they be­come desperate, es­pe­cially if they can’t fault you po­lit­i­cally. This comes as no shock to me,” he said.

“The state will do ev­ery­thing in their power to try and si­lence some of us. We hope that the po­lice can be trusted in this case.”

Malema hoped Jansen and her em­ploy­ees would be safe.

“The do­mes­tic work­ers were brought into some­thing that doesn’t in­volve them. They are not part of these po­lit­i­cal shenani­gans. This is an in­tim­i­da­tion tac­tic and ha­rass­ment of the ju­di­ciary and it will not suc­ceed.

“When we en­tered this game we knew we would be con­fronted with these things at some point,” he said.

Jus­tice Min­is­ter Michael Ma­sutha put Jansen on spe­cial leave in May, af­ter com­ments she made to jour­nal­ist Gil­lian Schutte were made pub­lic on Face­book.

Ear­lier that month, Schutte posted ex­cerpts of a yearold ex­change she had had with Jansen on the so­cial net­work.

Jansen wrote of black peo­ple: “In their cul­ture a woman is there to plea­sure them. Pe­riod. It is seen as an ab­so­lute right and a woman’s con­sent is not re­quired.

“I still have to meet a black girl who was not raped at about 12. I am dead se­ri­ous.”

Jansen said she was re­fer­ring to rape cases that she had presided over. She said the com­ments were taken out of con­text and were pri­vate. She had just lost her hus­band in a car ac­ci­dent.—News24 THE HAGUE — Congolese for­mer rebel Bosco Nta­ganda has gone on hunger strike and is re­fus­ing to ap­pear at his in­ter­na­tional war crimes trial in protest against his de­ten­tion con­di­tions, judges were told on Tues­day.

Nta­ganda has also in­structed his de­fence team to stop act­ing on his be­half at his trial which opened at the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court in The Hague a year ago.

In a long, ram­bling, writ­ten state­ment seen by AFP, Nta­ganda, who was ab­sent from the court­room, said “there is no pos­si­bil­ity that I will see my wife and chil­dren again un­der nor­mal con­di­tions”. “That’s why I am ready to die.” Last week, pre­sid­ing judge Robert Fremr re­fused to lift vis­it­ing re­stric­tions, cit­ing con­cern he could be try­ing to in­ter­fere with wit­nesses or in­tim­i­date them.

But Fremr in­sisted “noth­ing in the re­stric­tions pre­vents fam­ily vis­its from tak­ing place”.

Nta­ganda has de­nied 18 charges of war crimes and crimes against hu­man­ity aris­ing out of sav­age eth­nic at­tacks car­ried out in the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo by his rebel Pa­tri­otic Forces for the Lib­er­a­tion of Congo (FPLC) in 2002-2003.

In his state­ment, read in court by his lawyer he said, “When I gave my­self up three years ago, I thought I would be able to de­fend my­self. But I know now that is not the case. I know there is no way out, and I no longer have any hope.”

The judges re­jected a de­fence re­quest to ad­journ the trial un­til Mon­day, and said the hear­ings would re­sume yes­ter­day, or­der­ing his de­fence team to ap­pear in court to rep­re­sent him.

The judges also or­dered that a med­i­cal pro­fes­sional should as­sess Nta­ganda’s fit­ness and that a visit from his fam­ily should be ar­ranged ex­pe­di­tiously.

Pros­e­cu­tion lawyer Ni­cole Sam­son ar­gued that the “on­set of de­pres­sion seems to have been a fairly speedy one and ap­pears in our sub­mis­sion . . . to be a ma­nip­u­la­tive tac­tic aimed at halt­ing pro­ceed­ings and ne­go­ti­at­ing with the cham­ber.”

Nta­ganda was handed over to the ICC af­ter he turned him­self into the US em­bassy in Ki­gali in 2013.

The eastern Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo has been mired for two decades in eth­ni­cally-charged wars, as rebels bat­tle for con­trol of its rich min­eral re­sources.

Pros­e­cu­tors say the man once dubbed “The Ter­mi­na­tor” played a cen­tral role in the Ituri con­flict which rights groups be­lieve alone has left some 60 000 dead since 1999. — AFP

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un waves to of­fi­cials in this un­dated photo —Reuters

Bosco Nta­ganda

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