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‘Show proof of address and you get bail’

784-co accused Efthimios Demis Karamitsos outside Lanasia magistrate court, the matter was posponed till 24 july 2013 Picture:Dumisani Dube

784-co accused Efthimios Demis Karamitsos outside Lanasia magistrate court, the matter was posponed till 24 july 2013 Picture:Dumisani Dube

Published Jul 24, 2013

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Johannesburg - Magistrate Syfred Mati has indicated that if the State can verify an address for Gareth de Nysschen, a co-owner at Dave Sheer Guns, he will grant him bail.

The gun shop owner was caught at OR Tambo International Airport about to leave the country. He owns assets worth millions of rand that can easily be moved, and the State has indicated in the Lenasia Magistrate’s Court it was unable to verify exactly where he lives.

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De Nysschen was arrested by the military police at the airport nearly two weeks ago while about to board a plane to the US.

His colleague, Dave Sheer Guns general manager Efthimios Demis Karamitsos, also went to the airport and was also apprehended.

They have been charged with dealing in stolen military ammunition. Karamitsos was given bail last week, but the State opposed bail for De Nysschen.

Soldiers Teboho Peter Motaung and Diphang John Motloung were accused of stealing the ammunition, along with Motloung’s son Thabang.

Motaung and Motloung were granted bail, but Thabang’s bail was revoked because he allegedly threatened the investigating officer’s life.

On Tuesday, magistrate Mati gave his judgment in the bail application, postponing his final verdict until Wednesday.

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He said the State’s case appeared to be strong because it had managed to recover some of the military ammunition through information supplied by a State witness.

 

Mati then went through the reasons provided by the investigating officer, Stella Ngwenya, for denying De Nysschen bail.

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He said Ngwenya’s argument that the accused was a danger to others was incorrect.

Ngwenya said she considered De Nysschen a high risk as accused number three, Thabang, had threatened her life when out on bail. Mati said Thabang was alleged to have made the threat, not De Nysschen.

He said there was no violence implicit in the charge of dealing in stolen ammunition and there were no previous cases against De Nysschen.

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The magistrate then referred to all the other police investigations against De Nysschen - which include allegations of bribing police officers and importing and exporting weapons of war meant to go to the special forces.

 

The magistrate said the major leg of the State’s case was that De Nysschen would try to avoid trial because his ex-wife and children could easily follow him out of the country, that his assets in trust could easily be moved and there was a strong chance he could obtain travel documents through corrupt means.

The State also said it had no idea where the accused resided as it had three addresses for him, all leased, and could not find exactly where he lived.

“The accused gave the State a residential address, and when verified, it was found to be empty, with no signs that anyone lived there,” said Mati. He added that De Nysschen was a man of means with assets amounting to millions of rand, but he couldn’t provide confirmation about where he lived.

“Did he provide the wrong address simply because he did not want to be found by the police? Are his businesses in trust because they are part of a great scheme to flee the country and continue his business abroad?” Mati asked. “It would be idiocy for me to grant bail if I don’t know where he lives.”

The magistrate then said that if the defence provided the State with a proper address, he didn’t feel it would be just to deny bail.

After an adjournment, De Nysschen’s uncle, Jan Louw, offered that his nephew could stay with him in Boksburg. The judgment was postponed until Wednesday.

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The Star

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