Magistrate arrested over hit list
30 January 2011 Leave a comment
Jan 21 2011 – Louis Trichardt regional magistrate Ronnie Rambau was arrested yet again over the past weekend, this time on a charge of conspiracy to commit murder — after a hitlist in his own handwriting was handed in to the SAPS Counter-intelligence unit, reports Isabel Venter of the Zoutpansburger newspaper.
He admitted writing the hitlist for two witch-doctors who turned state-witnesses – with Rambau saing at his bail-hearing that “ he wanted to liberate the people on the list from the hatred they held against him.” He was released on R50,000 bail.
LOUIS TRICHARDT. Among the names on the hit list is that of district magistrate Marie Viljoen, senior state prosecutor André Weideman, district prosecutor Reino Mostert, district prosecutor Hylke Janse van Rensburg, senior prosecutor Deon Laminga (five Afrikaners), black district magistrate Chris Mthombeni and three policemen (one a captain and two sergeants whose identities were not revealed).
- Venter reports that all nine are involved in Rambau’s pending corruption case in Musina. Five live in Louis Trichardt.
Two local witch doctors, who turned state witnesses, stated that they had already received payment from Rambau to murder the people on the list. The one told police that he had been paid R850 to kill all nine, while the other was paid R3 500.
The complainant in the case, whose identity is being withheld at this stage for her own safety, handed the list to the police, fearing the worst.
- ‘My gun is for shooting people who make me angry…’
- In her police statement, she says Rambau repeatedly told her that his gun was not for shooting birds, but for shooting people who made him angry.
A warrant for Rambau’s arrest was issued on Friday (14 Jan). Although he initially told police by telephone that he would hand himself over, police waited in vain outside his Louis Trichardt home. Rambau eluded police for several hours, but eventually surrendered himself at around 01:30 on Saturday.
He has two brothers in the Louis Trichardt Police force…
Rambau was locked up in the police cells in Louis Trichardt, but once again his influence as regional magistrate apparently scored him some points with local police. According to information, senior police officials had to intervene once again over the past weekend when they found out that Rambau had received assistance in an attempt to bring a bail application in Giyani for his release, without even being charged yet.
- Rambau apparently has two brothers, one a warrant officer and the other a lieutenant-colonel, working at the Makhado SAPS. Rambau was also allegedly allowed to receive and make phone calls from his cell phone while in the police’s holding cells in Louis Trichardt. He enjoyed similar privileges from the Musina police when he was arrested on corruption charges in February last year.
Following his arrest last year, Rambau was found wandering around the police station, uncuffed and out of the police cells. Shortly after this discovery, and following senior police intervention, Rambau was moved to the police holding cells at Tshamutumbu, where he spent the weekend behind bars.
Magistrate to be appointed for his case from outside the Thohoyandou cluster…
Rambau appeared in the Giyani Magistrate´s Court on Monday on a charge of conspiracy to commit murder. His case was, however, postponed until Tuesday in order for a magistrate to be appointed from outside the Thohoyandou cluster to hear his bail application.
He did not deny writing the hit-list… but was granted R50,000 bail….
Rambau re-appeared in court on Tuesday, inside a packed court room, with some people standing in the hallway outside the court to follow proceedings. During cross-examination, Rambau did not deny writing the list. He claimed he had approached the witch doctors and given them the list, so that they could “liberate the people on the list from the hatred they held against him…” [Rambau].
Rambau was granted R50 000 bail. As part of his bail conditions, he is restricted to Louis Trichardt and may only leave town to attend his corruption case in Musina. He also has to report to the Makhado Police Station twice a day and is to have no contact with the complainants in Giyani.
- His being confined to Louis Trichardt raised a number of eyebrows, as five of the people whose names appear on the hit list also live in Louis Trichardt.
Forced to hand in passport and all his weapons – including those unregistered ones…
The magistrate also ordered Rambau to hand in his passport and all weapons and ammunition in his possession, as well as, interestingly enough, those weapons the police do not know of. His case was postponed until April 25 for further investigation.
On April 7, Rambau will have to appear in the Musina Magistrate’s Court once again in connection with the corruption case against him. Rambau and his co-accused, district prosecutor Estene Willemse and Musina attorney T E Lubisi, are accused of receiving bribes to influence the outcome of several court cases.
Suspended – but on full pay:
Following Rambau´s arrest, the Magistrate´s Commission stated that they would “consider the new charges against Rambau as a matter of urgency.”
- At present, Rambau has been suspended but still receives full pay.
“Rambau was suspended by the Justice Minister last year and he is not at the office,” said Mr Danie Schoeman, secretary of the commission in reaction to enquiries by Zoutpansburger. http://networkedblogs.com/dpfh7