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Petrol card fraud accused gets bail

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Dirk Booysen asks to be released to attend birth of baby

RELEASED: Dirk Booysen, who is accused of stealing the petrol cards out of two DFA company vehicles.

THE KIMBERLEY man who is accused stealing petrol cards out of two DFA company vehicles and then charging in excess of R15 000 in over 30 transactions to the newspaper’s accounts, was granted bail of R1 000 after asking to be released from custody for the birth of his first child.

This, despite the mother to be having taken out a protection order against him, following allegations of domestic violence.

The bail application of Dirk Booysen was concluded in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court on Friday, with the 26-year-old testifying in his own bail application and requesting that he be released for the birth of his first child, which is expected in the next few weeks.

While the State was opposed to bail, on the grounds that Booysen has previous convictions and other pending charges, the unemployed Booysen questioned why he had been re-arrested after being granted R2 000 bail on three of the charges before a fourth charge was added.

Booysen told the court that his only conviction to date was for possession of drugs, in Bloemfontein earlier this year, an offence that resulted in a R1 000 fine.

With regard to the current case, Booysen is facing one count of fraud, dating back to April, two charges of theft, stemming from the missing petrol cards, and a third theft charge, the fourth charge in total, which has resulted in his current incarceration since earlier this month.

“To my knowledge, I only have this case,” Booysen testified. “I was released on bail of R2 000 but the investigating officer came to fetch me again.

“My initial bail application was heard in C Court (on the first three charges) but the charges were brought together to be heard here in A Court. I am currently facing three theft charges and one count of fraud.”

When asked why he felt his bail was justified, Booysen fought back tears as he explained that he wanted to be present for the birth of his first child and wished to take the opportunity to turn his life around.

“I should be granted bail because my baby is going to be born in the coming month and I would like to be there when he arrives,” he said. “I really want to be with my parents and see if I can make a better life for myself and make a difference in the lives of others. I want to live a normal life again.”

Under cross-examination, Booysen conceded that he would have to leave the jurisdiction of Kimberley if he were to attend the birth in Bloemfontein, and pointed out that the additional charge had been included subsequent to his initial bail application, despite the fact that the alleged offence had been committed prior to his arrest on the first three charges.

“I was out on bail when they opened another case against me. All the charges are connected. I have been unnecessarily kept in jail and I don’t know why,” he said.

“At no stage have I tried to evade my trial and have been in court for all my scheduled appearances.”

The investigating officer, Detective Henk van der Merwe, said that whether or not bail should be granted was a decision for the court, while he touched on the merits of the case.

Van der Merwe stated that the two petrol cards were removed from the DFA vehicles in May, after Booysen had approached newspaper staff, claiming to be an employee of a vehicle tracking company.

He was later arrested after allegedly attempting to purchase petrol with one of these cards at a Shell petrol station in the Kimberley CBD.

Van der Merwe further explained that one of the charges was linked to the theft of a subwoofer and a bluetooth soundbar from a local guest house, while Booysen is also accused of fraud after spending an evening with his girlfriend at Kalahari Lodge and allegedly leaving without settling the account.

The IO added that Booysen’s girlfriend and her family wanted nothing to do with the accused and have taken out a restraining order against him, also claiming that he had a drug problem.

“He only has the four pending charges against him but there was a protection order served against him by his girlfriend in Bloemfontein on Thursday,” Van der Merwe testified.