The civil rights organisation AfriForum says it is concerned about the court’s handling of the bail application of Garth Simpson, a farmer from Dundee. It took the court more than a month to give the record to AfriForum’s legal team to draw up the appeal application against the court’s decision to not grant bail. This is extremely worrying as Simpson has been in custody all this time.
Simpson was charged with murder after a shooting incident on his farm. His case was in court today so that the ballistic reports could be handed over. The case was postponed until 14 December to allow the public prosecutor to finalise the docket. Simpson will remain in custody.
The organisation is of the opinion that the reasons given to deny bail are insufficient. The court among others argued that Simpson’s bail was denied for his own safety.
AfriForum previously announced that it will assist Simpson with legal assistance because it seems that Simpson displayed a good defence and he will possibly be successful in his defence provided that he has excellent legal representation during the hearing and that he does not fall victim to now clichéd political and racial based accusations.
As a rule, AfriForum does not usually get involved in individual cases, but the organisation made an exception because there are bigger issues at stake that do not only affect the accused, but also the broader community.
Ernst Roets, AfriForum’s Head of Policy and Action, says farmers daily experience numerous problems like illegal offenders, illegal grazing, land grabs and farm attacks. “Politicians who regularly make statements against farmers and encourage expropriation without compensation, create a tense atmosphere in various rural areas.”