Case against Bittereinder man dropped after bar fight; ‘he learned a lesson’


The man who was allegedly assaulted by Francois van der Merwe, director of the Bittereinders movement, in a pub with a brandy bottle, says he has forgiven him.

“I think he has learned his lesson… He has now also spent a week in the cells on another charge,” the victim, who does not want his name mentioned, said on Monday.

This follows after Van der Merwe appeared in the magistrate’s court in Pretoria on Monday, where the charge against him was dropped.

“I told the prosecutor that I no longer want to continue with the case, partly because I feel that Van der Merwe has now learned his lesson and we have now forgiven each other.

“That’s all he had to do; to apologize to me from the beginning,” the victim then adds.

Lumka Mahanjana, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority in Gauteng, could not immediately confirm that the case had been officially dropped, despite repeated requests for comment.

RNews reported earlier about the incident during which Van der Merwe apparently assaulted the man at a hangout in Gezina, Pretoria.

Van der Merwe apparently spoke to the complainant and a group of his friends. It was apparently not long before an exchange of words arose between Van der Merwe and the alleged victim. The victim allegedly wanted to know from Van der Merwe what his definition of a “boer” was because of his involvement with the Bittereinders. After this, Van der Merwe apparently took a brandy bottle and beat the victim so hard that he had to be taken to hospital to get stitches.

“I just want to put the whole incident behind me and forget about everything,” says the alleged victim.

Meanwhile, Van der Merwe remains in custody after he was arrested in an unrelated incident last Wednesday. He was arrested and charged after a demonstration on Groblersdal in Limpopo

Van der Merwe and other supporters of the Bittereinders marched to the town to protest for the release of Piet Groenewald and Stephan Greeff.

Groenewald, owner of Wildlife Investigation & Protection Services (WIPS), and Greeff are accused of assaulting a security guard in their service and then unleashing a security dog ​​on him.

Van der Merwe was arrested before the court proceedings could begin. He appeared in this court the following day on charges of assault, as well as a related complaint that he interfered with the police in the performance of their duties.

He will apply for bail in this case later this week.

Also read: Groblersdal case: Tempers run high when father, stepson asks for bail