It is believed that Gerber "might have contacts inside prison"
WELL-known Kimberley businessman Esias “Sakkie” Gerber, who is facing several charges in two separate trials currently under way in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court, yesterday applied for legal aid in both cases.
Gerber appeared in court yesterday alongside his co-accused in the first matter, Floyd Teu, where they are accused of fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice.
The State alleges that a vehicle belonging to Gerber, a BMW X6, which was insured for R1.3 million, was reported as being stolen in Pretoria, while it was actually handed over to an accomplice to drive over the Lebombo border post between South Africa and Mozambique to be sold or disposed of in a foreign country.
The vehicle was apparently reported as stolen to the police and Gerber’s insurance company, Mutual & Federal.
The matter was yesterday postponed for Gerber to apply for legal aid.
Gerber then later appeared for the second matter, where he is facing one charge of attempted murder, one charge of defeating the ends of justice and six charges of fraud, related to six vehicles belonging to members of the public that Gerber allegedly transferred into the name of his former business (MotoNet), re-financed and then sold without the knowledge of the owners, who also did not receive any of the profit.
He also applied for legal aid in this matter and is currently out on bail for both matters.
Gerber was joined by a second accused, Ariel Percival Kotzee, who was arrested earlier this week, on a ninth charge, theft of a motor vehicle, relating to a BMW to the value of R151 000.
Gerber, through his legal representative, indicated to court that the vehicle had been handed back to him by police after being confiscated and the State later confirmed that the case’s investigating officer, Warrant Officer Chantelle Booysen, was aware that the vehicle had been erroneously handed back.
The State, however, said that the theft charges stemmed from the fact that the two men knew that they were unlawfully in possession of the vehicle but continued to use it.
Kotzee was arrested earlier this week and is expected to apply for bail today.
However, his legal representative asked the court that Kotzee be held in custody at the Kimberley police station’s holding cells instead of in prison until his bail application, as he “feared for his life” and believed that Gerber “might have contacts inside prison”.
Magistrate Lance Roach agreed to the request and also excused Gerber until the pair’s next court appearance.