Prominent local businessman Adriaan de Klerk appeared in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court on two charges of rape, one charge of attempted rape and one of sexual assault. Picture: Danie van der Lith/ANA
Kimberley - A prominent local businessman appeared in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court yesterday on two charges of rape, one charge of attempted rape and one of sexual assault.

The accused, Adriaan de Klerk, the owner of West End Meat Supply, is believed to have handed himself over to police on Monday.

He was on Wednesday granted bail of R10 000.

The charges relate to the alleged rape of a female employee who worked as a cashier at the butchery situated in the city’s CBD.

The complainant has since resigned from her job.

It was stated on Wednesday during De Klerk’s bail application that he faced a similar allegation in 2016 but was never charged.

The investigating officer (IO), Sergeant Charlotte Mogale, on Wednesday read out an affidavit by the complainant in court, in which the latter indicated that the alleged incidents happened over a period of time from July 1, 2016 to September 30 this year.

The complainant said in her statement that in one incident she was in the office of De Klerk’s personal assistant when the accused came in.

De Klerk allegedly put his hand up her shirt and touched her breast. She said that the incident was witnessed by the personal assistant.

“In another incident in August, I was in the kitchen doing dishes when the accused walked into the kitchen. I tried to make way for him to pass. He instructed me not to move and said that I must remove my pants because he wanted to see ‘it’. He came up behind me and pulled down my pants as well as the tights I was wearing. He pushed me against the table and unzipped his trousers before penetrating and raping me.”

According to the complainant’s statement, she did not tell anyone about the incident as she feared no one would believe her.

She also referred to another incident, which she said happened in August, also in the kitchen.

“The accused blocked the kitchen door and said he wanted to see if a lesbian can still do it.” According to the complainant, De Klerk was aware that she was in a lesbian relationship.

“He again pushed me against the table and raped me. I didn’t tell anyone because I was afraid I would lose my job.”

The complainant stated that the accused had again accosted her on September 1.

“He came into the PA’s office to check on the turnover. The PA was not there at the time. The accused came in and I tried to leave but he again blocked the exit. He went behind me and touched my thighs and breasts before penetrating me with his finger twice.”

She said that she had reported the incident to the PA.

The complainant also stated that on another occasion, when the shop was closed and they were taking stock, the accused, who was with another worker, came into the office and grabbed her inappropriately, commenting that “sy het ‘n vet koek” (she has a large pubic area).

The complainant said that after this incident she received a call from the PA saying that R8 000 had gone missing and she was called in.

According to the IO, the complainant said that the accused told her that one of the employees had told him that she had seen the complainant give money to her lover. The complainant said that the accused needed proof and he replied that he did not need to prove the accusations.

West End Meat Supply Picture: Danie van der Lith

The complainant added that she had seen a similar incident happen to another employee, where the accused also allegedly touched her inappropriately. This employee was apparently fired.

According to the complainant, she was afraid to say anything about the incidents as she had a five-year-old child and was the only one working at home.

In her testimony, the IO indicated that the investigation had not yet been completed as there were still four witness statements that she needed to obtain.

She stated that all the witnesses are employed by the accused.

The IO said that she had tried to contact the witnesses but had not had any luck.

De Klerk’s wife, who was also called to the witness stand, said that she was not aware that her husband was being charged with rape and thought it was only inappropriate conduct.

She also stated that she and her husband had never discussed the similar allegation made against him in 2016.

The magistrate, meanwhile, indicated his displeasure at the fact that the IO had not obtained any statements from the witnesses almost a month after the incident.

He also pointed out that the accused had handed himself over and was not arrested when the matter was reported.

“One understands the reluctance of the witnesses to give statements as the accused was not arrested and he is still their employer.”

The magistrate added that rape cases were often difficult to prove as it was the word of the complainant against that of the accused.

The State indicated that there were no compelling circumstances to grant the accused bail.

The magistrate, however, pointed out that the fact that De Klerk had handed himself over was “not ordinary”.

He further indicated that if the accused wanted to influence the witnesses, he would have done so already.

“Since the case is so weak against the accused I cannot keep him in custody until the finalisation of the investigation, as the IO has been struggling to get statements from the witnesses and she cannot indicate when she will have obtained these.”

The matter was postponed to next month.

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