As part of our festive season content, the Cape Argus retrieved articles from its archives looking at what made news in 1922, and 2002.
The article below was published in the “Cape Argus” dated Cape Town, Thursday, June 15, 1922.
(Note: The author of the original article is not mentioned or referred to in the article.)
Native’s Trumped-Up Case
Potchefstroom, Friday – A coloured boy named Ben Buys, trumped up a remarkable story against the police in the course of his defence at the Circuit Court when charged with store breaking at Coligny.
He told the court the trickery had been adopted by the police in bringing the charge against him and alleged that a skeleton key and other articles had been deliberately placed in his pockets in order to secure a conviction.
He further said that his late “Baas” had threatened to make a place to insure a heavier punishment.
“Does a man usually tell you when he is planning to trap you?”, asked the judge, but the accused did not answer.
The accused proceeded to state that altogether there were four prisoners. He was one and he alleged that Constable Bouwer, who was concerned in the arrest, had conspired with a driver at the store to arrange the charge as an aid in getting his stripes and promotion in the police force.
The judge warned the jury regarding the impracticability oft he accused boy’s defence and said that the four natives called as witnesses had been long enough in the cells together to concoct such a story.
Sentence was passed of three years’ imprisonment with hard labour.