The Groblersdal two only heard about bail later


The father and stepson who are accused of assaulting a worker say they tried to help him after he assaulted them.

Piet Groenewald (63) and Stephan Greeff (27), his stepson, appeared again on Wednesday in the magistrate’s court at Groblersdal in Limpopo on charges of assault with intent to seriously injure. Groenewald is the owner of Wildlife Investigation & Protection Services (WIPS).

According to the indictment, the two assaulted Veneruru Kavari (30), one of their security guards, with a pickaxe, incited a security dog ​​to bite him and apparently injected him with an unknown liquid.

Groenewald and Greeff denied this version of the state. In two affidavits, both gave their side of the case as part of their bail application. Both appeared in court in blue and white checkered shirts. They greeted their family in the public gallery and talked with them.

According to Greeff, he received a call on 17 January that Kavari was “heavily under the influence (of alcohol)” while he was on duty at a mobile phone tower. He sent a vehicle to pick up Kavari and bring him to WIPS’ office.

“When he (Kavari) got out of the vehicle, he was visibly drunk, aggressive and arrogant. He was also armed with a panga and the handle of a pickaxe,” says Greeff’s statement.

According to Greeff, Kavari threw the pickaxe in the direction of him and Groenewald. Groenewald picked up the pickaxe in an attempt to prevent further assault from Kavari.

According to Groenewald’s affidavit, the pickaxe hit him and the security dog.

“The complainant (Kavari) still had the panga and threatened to attack us with it,” Greeff’s statement continued.

He had the security dog ​​with him and according to him it started to become aggressive because of Kavari’s hostility. According to Groenewald, the dog got loose and attacked Kavari. He and Greeff both deny that they incited the dog to bite Kavari.

Groenewald also told the court that he treated and bandaged Kavari’s wounds after the dog was restrained.

He also gave Kavari a clamp-in-the-jaw injection and offered to take him to hospital.

“I am a trained paramedic. After the incident, I disinfected the small wounds of Kavari, applied Betadine ointment and properly bandaged them. I also gave him a clamp-in-the-jaw injection… After he refused to go to the hospital, I offered to take him the next day, but he didn’t show up.”

Kavari would apparently be subject to disciplinary action because he was allegedly intoxicated and he apparently filed the assault charge in an attempt to avoid it.

Const. Grigory Maleasenya, investigating officer, said to a question from Magistrate Bogi Mashele that the wounds looked “terrible”.

“One would even think it was a lion that bit him,” testified Maleasenya.

He testified that it would not be in the interest of law and justice to release Greeff or Groenewald on bail. According to him, their lives will be in danger and they can also interfere with witnesses.

One of the witnesses is an employee of WIPS who has already fled. “I cannot say where the witness is, he fears for his life.”

On a question from adv. Casparus van Wyk, Greeff and Groenewald’s legal representative, Maleasenya said that it will be considered later whether the witness should be placed in witness protection.

Van Wyk stated to Maleasenya that the eyewitness’ version was obtained “as an afterthought” and was therefore bogus. He insisted that it was in the interest of justice to release Greeff and Groenewald and that they would not interfere with the case.

Politics before elections

Greeff and Groenewald asked the court not to pay attention to the politicking outside the court.

“This is a labor issue that is now being exploited by political parties to score cheap points for the upcoming election,” both argue.

He referred to Ronald Lamola and Bheki Cele, ministers of justice and police respectively, who addressed a crowd of protesters – consisting of the ANC, EFF and ACDP – outside the court.

“The state has a weak case against me and the only reason why bail is refused is to punish the accused.”

Outside the court, Cele and Lamola asked the protesters to remain calm.

“Everyone has the right to protest, but there is no place for racist flags,” said Lamola.

On why he and Cele decided to be at court, Lamola says: “Any incident that is racially motivated must be condemned, that’s why we are here. No one can prevent anyone from coming to court.”

He referred to an incident when some protesters arrived at the court with the Vierkleur during Groenewald and Greeff’s previous court appearance. During this appearance, Francois van der Merwe, a director of the Bittereinders movement, was arrested.

Lamola and Cele referred to the Four Colors as racist.

“We condemn the use of this flag. That protesters used it is worrying because it evokes memories of a time when discrimination and inequality were rampant,” the ministers say in an additional statement.

“The Four Color flag is a symbol that represents a bygone era of colonization and apartheid. This flag has historical significance, but it also carries connotations of a time when black people were denied their basic rights.”

Memorandum handed over

AfriForum and the Groblersdal Rural Safety and Cattle Association also used the opportunity to hand over a memorandum to the ministers. In this, the ministers are asked to investigate the police office and the court in the town “which are not performing their tasks properly”.

“The community is doing its best to fight crime, but is not getting the necessary support from the police or court,” the memorandum says.

  • Groenewald and Greeff will remain in custody until their next court appearance on February 7. The court indicated that it was not yet ready to deliver a verdict and asked to see, among other things, certain video evidence in the case.