Farouk Meyer says the police have framed him. File picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/Independent Media
Johannesburg – Farouk Meyer once escaped prison to prove a miscarriage of justice, now he is back in the dock, fighting what he believes is a trumped-up charge.

On Friday, a shackled Meyer appeared in the high court in Joburg, where he tried to have an attempted murder case dismissed for lack of evidence.

He argued that this was an attempt by the police to frame him and send him back to prison.

But his urgent application was unsuccessful, after Judge Sharise Weiner said she could not rule in a magistrate's court matter and Meyer’s case had to run its course.

With that, he will now have to wait until Tuesday, when he will appear in the Protea Magistrate’s Court in a bail hearing and where he hopes the case against him will be dropped.

Meyer, representing himself, had argued that an apparent witness to a shooting had changed his statement that had initially implicated him.

The shooting took place in Klipspruit West on April 20 when three men in a red Golf 5 allegedly opened fire on a white Nissan. Meyer was arrested the following day.

“This witness, in a second statement, said he did not know who shot at him,” Meyer said in court. He feared police had attempted to intimidate the witness.

Advocate Carla Britz, representing the national director of public prosecutions, said a second witness identified Meyer as the shooter. But Weiner pointed out, after reading an affidavit submitted by the witness, that he stated that the Farouk he referred to was not Meyer.

This may not be first time the police have got it wrong while investigating Meyer.

In 2014, Meyer walked out of “Sun City” Prison a free man after the Wits Justice project and a private forensic investigator were able to get his life sentence reduced.

He had been in jail for 14 years. The crime he was found guilty of was the murder of three men in a shooting inside Club 12 Play at Hillfox, on the West Rand.

Meyer admitted to pulling the trigger back in 1999, but said it was self-defence.

He told the court he had come to the defence of a friend during a brawl.

Meyer said he fired one shot with the bullet hitting one man in the chest then exiting his shoulder and striking the second person, fatally wounding both. But the State claimed that Meyer had fired twice and killed three people.

In 2009, Meyer escaped from Groenpunt Prison in an attempt he said to highlight his wrongful conviction. While on the run, he phoned Talk Radio 702 and later handed himself in at the Sandton police station.

The Wits Justice Project took up his case and private forensic investigator David Klatzow was able to prove that Meyer had fired that one bullet.

The Wits Justice project was able to get the pro bono legal services of advocate Jaap Cilliers and secure a hearing in the Supreme Court of Appeal.

There, Meyer’s life sentence for premeditated murder was changed to culpable homicide and his sentence reduced to 24 years. He was released on bail.

Now he hopes to beat another criminal charge, but it will be in another courtroom.

“If there is anything malicious, he will have his remedy, (in the magistrate's court),” said Weiner.

Saturday Star