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Gangsters’ bail application dismissed after they enter high court ‘smelling like dagga’

Gangsters’ bail application dismissed after they enter high court ‘smelling like dagga’
Bail for Terrible Josters gang members (from left) Moegamat Meniers, Lezay Booysen, Bradley Roberts and Nizaam Dreyer was denied in the Western Cape High Court last month because the judge found they showed no respect for the judiciary and were a threat to witnesses. (Photo: Vincent Cruywagen)

The bail application of two members of the Terrible Josters gang was dismissed in the Western Cape High Court because they allegedly smoked dagga before their appearance.

Last week the bail application of four Terrible Josters gang members, Moegamat Meniers, Bradley Roberts, Lezay Booysen and Nizaam Dreyer, was dismissed by Judge Robert Henney in the Western Cape High Court. Two, Roberts and Booysen, allegedly smoked dagga on their way to the court, which led to the dismissal of their application.

The four are among 20 Terrible Josters members under the leadership of Elton Lenting, aka Koffi, and his second-in-command, Raymond Arendse, who face more than 100 charges, including 10 of murder. Their reign of terror spans from March 2002 to January 2017, when the Terrible Josters membership consisted of at least 10,000 – and it is rapidly increasing.

Alarmingly, one of the four shouted at the investigation officer that “hy gaan val” — meaning “he will be killed”.

State prosecutor Peter Damon told the court he had been informed by court orderly Warrant Officer Graham Goliath that Booysen and Roberts smelt of dagga and couldn’t walk properly.

Judge Henney told the two:

“I can’t allow people smelling like dagga sitting in the court. By being under the influence you are disrespecting the court. This a court of law and the allegation before me is that the two of you are not sober and consumed substances.

“To come like this to court is disrespectful and [shows a] total disregard for the law and undermines the system. If you do that while you are inside prison, what will your behaviour be once you are outside?” 

The two replied that they did not smoke dagga.

Roberts told the court he had difficulty sleeping, while Booysen said he had injured his left ear during an altercation between Terrible Josters members in the holding cells.

Henney told the two that in view of the evidence before the court, their applications were dismissed. 

In the case of Dreyer, the court heard that his bail had already been denied by the Bellville Regional Court. 

In dismissing the application, Henney said, “Firstly I have to look at the judgment and reasons why his bail was denied.” He said the alternative was to file a new application with new facts.

Detailing the murder charge against Meniers, who faces 21 charges, including five of attempted murder and one of murder, prosecutor Damon said: “The accused took the deceased playfully around his neck. He took his firearm while the deceased was bending to light a cigarette and shot him in the back of the head.”

Damon said: “I’m of the opinion Meniers’ release will be used to intimidate witnesses and will also result in further crime. Taking into account the prevalence of gang violence in the Western Cape, it is not in the interest of justice to grant him bail.” 

Henney, in his ruling, said: “There is direct evidence the accused was involved in a murder and gang activities. The blatant and brazen way the Terrible Josters carried out their crimes show that they didn’t care if innocent people were injured. I can’t release such a person and bail is therefore denied.” DM/MC

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