Murder accused claims he is being fobbed off over appeal

2 July 2011 – Farouk Meyer, who escaped from Vereeniging’s Groenpunt Prison in May 2010, only to hand himself back to the authorities, as a way of highlighting his allegation that he was framed by the police, took a small step on the road to reopening his case on Wednesday. Jeremy Gordin writes for the Saturday Star.

In the North Gauteng High Court Acting Judge Peter van der Byl granted Meyer his application that the head of the police forensics department and Inspector Gysbert Kloppers and Senior Superintendent Amelda Crooks of the SAPS hand to Meyer all the relevant ballistic evidence relating to his case in 1999/2000.

Meyer was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2000 for murdering three men inside Club 12 Play at Hillfox on the West Rand.

Meyer acknowledges firing two shots in self-defence – one of the men he hit in the leg is still alive – but says he could not have killed three other men with his remaining shot.

He alleges the other bullets produced at his trial were not fired by him but were later taken from his weapon, which he had surrendered to the police when he gave himself up after the shooting, in November 1999.

Meyer escaped from Vereeniging’s Groenpunt Prison in May 2010. At the time, he said: “I simply ran over the veld and got into a taxi and escaped like that.”

Then he surrendered at the Sandton police station in front of the media. Meyer stepped out of a taxi carrying a briefcase and was met by journalists, police officers, relatives, Sandton police station commissioner Director Alan Billings, Police Ministry spokesman Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng Justice Department spokesman Collen Msibi, and the handover’s facilitator, 702 Crime Line head Yusuf Abramjee.

“All of them, especially Lesufi, Msibi and Abramjee, promised me they would see to it that my complaint, that I received such a long sentence through the actions of corrupt police officers, would be thoroughly investigated,” Meyer said.

“Ever since I surrendered myself and was sent straight back to Groenpunt, I have not heard a single word from any of those people in Sandton. And every time I phone one of them, I am fobbed off,” said Meyer, who has now been transferred to medium B at Johannesburg prison (Sun City).

The Independent Complaints Directorate, to which Meyer also forwarded a complaint, has not ever come back to him either.

In the meantime, Meyer has continued on his own, seeking new evidence so that he can petition the Supreme Court of Appeal to re-open his case. A major piece of evidence that Meyer has been trying to get for months is the forensic evidence related to the spent bullets presented at his original trial by the state.

Once Meyer has examined the evidence, he can proceed to put together a petition to the SCA.


About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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