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Businessman still behind bars

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The complainant eventually contacted Meades’ mother and showed her the text messages she had been receiving from the accused

Picture: Soraya Crowie

WELL-known city businessman Louis Meades was forced to spend the weekend behind bars as his bail application was postponed again.

Meades allegedly tried to kill his girlfriend recently by running over her with his bakkie.

During bail proceedings on Friday, the investigating officer, Warrant Officer Raymond Visagie, told the court about the events that led up to the arrest of the accused.

According to Visagie, on January 22 this year Meades sent a text message to the complainant saying, “Jy moet uit f** uit die huis.” (“You need to get out the house”)

“The next day, at around 1am, he once again told her to f*** off,” Visagie told the court.

He said that the complainant eventually left the house at around 6am to go to work. While at work, Visagie said, she received another message telling her to have all her possessions out of the house by 5pm.

“During the day he (Meades) sent her more threatening messages saying he will ensure that she loses her job as he knows the owner of the place where she works,” Visagie said.

He went on to say that the complainant eventually contacted Meades’ mother and showed her the text messages she had been receiving from the accused.

Visagie told the court that the complainant then told Meades’ mother that she wasn’t feeling well and the accused’s mother then took her to hospital for treatment before taking the complainant back to her house.

According to Visagie, during this time the accused kept sending threatening messages.

“At approximately 7.30pm, the accused arrived at his mother’s house and an argument broke out between Meades and the complainant,” Visagie said.

He said that according to the complainant she was hit with a fist in the chest and she fell onto the bed; and Meades emptied the contents of her bag out.

“Meades then, according to the complainant, hit her with his fist in the mouth and told her to leave his mother’s premises.”

Visagie said Meades’ mother offered to take the complainant home, however, Meades insisted that he would. An argument then ensued which turned physical.

“The accused’s mother then tried to intervene at which point the accused turned on his mother and attacked her,” Visagie said.

He said that Meades then threatened to kill the complainant, saying “this will not be the first time I have killed”.

Meades, according to Visagie, then ripped out the complainant’s earrings and pulled her chain off her neck. He also apparently tried to rip her watch off. When he couldn’t get it off he pulled her into the house.

Eventually, the complainant agreed to leave with Meades “as the mother was too injured to take the complainant home”.

The pair drove off on the N12 towards Cape Town.

Once in the Opel Corsa bakkie of the accused, the fight continued, said Visagie.

“He started hitting the complainant and pulling her hair while he was driving. She eventually got out of the bakkie and ran into the veld whereupon the accused drove off before making a U-turn and drove with intent towards the complainant, trying to run her over.”

Visagie said that the two eventually “made peace” and the complainant got back into the bakkie.

Once in the bakkie, however, Visagie said that the threats continued – “Ek gaan jou nog bliksem” (I’m still going to hit you) and “Now I’m going to have fun”.

After arriving back at the house the complainant went into the bathroom to wash the blood off her face while the accused was busy in the bedroom, Visagie said.

“While the complainant was in the bathroom, the accused apparently rushed into the bathroom with a firearm, believed to be a pistol, and broke the complainant’s tablets with the firearm.”

Visagie said that Meades then read out a letter which the complainant had written. Some of the content of the letter included that she feared for her life and that if he is angry he will stop at nothing.

“I don’t know how angry he will get. He has threatened to get someone to kill me. I also fear what he will do to his hospitalised mother.”

According to Visagie, there was also a Facebook post where Meades offered R2 000 for the whereabouts of the complainant.

He has, Visagie said, also threatened the complainant’s parents.

Meades’ legal representative, advocate Jesse Clarke, indicated that the defence did not have the docket containing the extra charges which include domestic violence and damage to property.

He also questioned the State as to why the complainant only laid the original charge of attempted murder after she obtained a protection order.

“Why was this letter written after the original charges? Why would he issue death threats after the incident and after her original statement? Why are all these things being added after the original statement was taken?”

Clarke also wanted to know why the complainant would willingly get back into the car after all that had happened.

“What I also want to know is why after she was out of the car he drove around her four times before actually trying to drive into her?

“There is a lot that doesn’t make sense.”

Clarke also told the court that there was no reason to keep Meades in custody as he has a confirmed address, there is no reason for him to interfere with the State’s witnesses, he will also not intimidate the complainant and he also has no reason not to reappear on the specified court date.

Clarke requested again that Meades be kept in the holding cells at the Phakamile Mabija police station until his next court appearance.

“I don’t want to come across as inhumane or try and punish your client, but if you can’t provide the reason for wanting to keep him in the holding cells, I can’t help you. I have heard it all, such as the accused is allergic to the air in prison and will break out in hives,” Magistrate Dolly Mokoto, said.

“What I will do is order that he be kept in the hospital wing of the prison.”

Meanwhile, Optimystic Bikers Against Abuse has also called for Meades to be denied bail.

“We oppose bail in cases involving domestic violence. We also call on courts to take the dynamics of domestic violence relationships, as well as the safety of the victims, into account when considering bail applications,” the vice president of Optimystic Bikers Against Abuse, Celeste Louw, said.

“It is clear from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Sona speech that serious commitments have been made towards a national plan to address gender-based violence in South Africa.

“In the interim and until this plan is in place it is imperative that we do everything in our power to save lives and prevent the unnecessary abuse of women.”