Nicola's alleged killer's bail bid heard in open court
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Cape Town – Paarl resident Jacobus Oosthuizen, accused of murdering his pregnant girlfriend earlier this year, failed in his bid to have his bail application held in camera this week.
Oosthuizen brought the application against the Director of Public Prosecutions, Independent Media and Media 24 citing his right to a fair trial as the basis for the application. He also said the media had previously reported false information about him and that he and some of his witnesses were anxious about testifying in the presence of the media.
However, magistrate Diane Blaauw ruled that Oosthuizen failed to present evidence of real anxiety or how the presence of the media would prejudice him. She found Oosthuizen’s bid to exclude local and Western Cape media but allow media from other parts of the country contradicted his own argument of being anxious to testify in the presence of journalists.
After the ruling was made, Oosthuizen’s attorney, Arthur Olsen, read his bail application affidavit relaying his version of the events between him and Nicola Pienaar, the dead woman whose body police said was found in Oosthuizen’s backyard.
According to Oosthuizen, he and Pienaar had a new relationship which was fuelled by drug abuse and was punctuated by physical assault.
He said Pienaar was possessive and had, on several occasions, been aggressive towards him and assaulted him.
He was embarrassed to report the assaults because as a man it was unusual to report being assaulted by a woman, he told the court. He said he was never violent towards Pienaar but “she was violent to me”. The couple regularly used cocaine, tik, Mandrax and dagga. Oosthuizen further told the court the relationship was dysfunctional, with Pienaar often showing up at his home uninvited and showing signs of being a stalker.
On the night of the incident, the couple had been using drugs and Pienaar attacked Oosthuizen with a knife. “My life was in danger,” he said.
In his account, Oosthuizen shied away from giving details of what happened and what led to Pienaar’s death saying, through his lawyer, he did not want to get into the case’s merits.
After what he described as a “drug-fuelled rage”, he took a road trip to Port Elizabeth where he was arrested.
He said he had not planned to escape or to go undetected, adding if he had planned to escape he would not have chosen Port Elizabeth as it was well known that it was the home of his ex-girlfriend.
When he was arrested a few days after Pienaar was reported missing, he was in possession of her mother’s car. In the car were a tent, canned food, a sleeping bag and some clothing items.
When asked why he had these items, Oosthuizen said he and Pienaar were planning a camping trip when the fight occurred. He said he would prove through cellphone messages that the couple was in the process of organising a camping trip.
He asked the court to release him on bail as he was not a flight risk and needed to plan for his trial. He had been drug-free since incarceration in January, he added.