Pretoria – Old wounds will be opened if Dirk Prinsloo, who is currently serving a sentence in Belarus, is released from prison and returns home to face the music.
Prinsloo was sentenced to an effective 13-year jail term in Belarus for robbery and related charges in February 2013, and he is due for parole any time.
If returned to South Africa, he is due to face another prison cell as he fled the country 11 years ago in the middle of his high-profile sex trial. His co-accused at the time, Cezanne Visser, known as Advocate Barbie, was sentenced to an effective seven-year jail sentence on sex-related charges in February 2010 .
She was released on parole in August 2013, a few months after her ex-lover started serving his sentence in Belarus.
Prinsloo is scheduled to appear in court in Belarus on Monday when a judge will determine whether he will be released on parole.
It is expected that if his release is ordered, Prinsloo will have to return home – either through being extradited or deported.
Nelson Kgwete of the Department of International Relations said it had not yet been decided whether Prinsloo would be extradited or deported.
“The department has not as yet been approached to work on any aspect of Mr Prinsloo’s possible extradition,” Kgwete said.
Justice spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga also said they had not received instructions regarding Prinsloo’s possible extradition.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku did not want to comment on the issue at this stage.
Sources close to the matter had, however, confirmed that there were negotiations under way for Prinsloo’s possible return once he was released on parole.
It was also possible that his sex trial here would be reopened, a source said.
The lawyer who represented two victims who were nine and 15 years old when they were allegedly sexually abused by Prinsloo in the early 2000’s, said old wounds would certainly be opened if the trial started afresh.
“Both are now married women with children and they have continued with their lives. I have not seen my clients for some time, so I don’t know what their feelings are about Prinsloo returning,” said Pieter van R Coetzee.
There was no doubt that once returned to South Africa, Prinsloo would have to face the music either way, as the court issued a warrant for his arrest when he did not return from a visit to Russia in 2006.
The high court in Pretoria at the time gave him permission to spend Christmas in Russia, following his application for permission to travel abroad. His bail was at the time upped to R20 000 and it was believed by the judge that he was not a flight risk.
Prinsloo never returned and the trial against Visser went ahead.
Nothing was heard of Prinsloo for a few years and it was unknown where he was, until he was arrested in Belarus on an array of crimes in 2009.
This was after he had robbed a bank in Baranovichi in June 2009.
He was arrested after he tried to flee the scene.
He was also convicted of theft as he stole a former Russian girlfriend’s necklace.
Prinsloo was kept in a cage during his trial there, as he was regarded as a dangerous criminal.
After his sentencing, Visser’s mother, Susan Lemmer, said Prinsloo should never again walk free and that women should be protected from him.
Lemmer blamed the sex-related charges on him and said her daughter was under his spell. He regarded him at the time as "her God".
Shocking evidence was revealed during Visser’s trial of their alleged sexual antics involving young children. As Prinsloo did not stand trial here, these allegations have not yet been proven against him.
A red file, which contains pictures of the young children, has been kept under lock and key for all these years.
If Prinsloo returns to court, it is expected that this file will be dusted off once again.
Legal experts said that there was no bilateral extradition treaty with Belarus, although they could concede to extradition.
It can be expected that Prinsloo will fight this tooth and nail. Experts say he knows he faces a prison cell if he returns home, and he has nothing to lose and will try every trick in the book to avoid extradition.