Bellville South cells ‘are not safe’

Reporter: Fouzia van der Fort

Two men accused of being involved in a driveway robbery syndicate and arrested three months ago on fresh charges are claiming that the Bellville South police cells are not safe. On Wednesday, in the Wynberg magistrate’s court, their advocate, Adrian Samuels, told magistrate Hafiza Mohamed the cells were “not a place of safety”.  Mohamed remanded Kurt Geduld, 24, and Nizaam Francis, 25, as well as Ashraf Schouwtz, 24, to Bellville pending an identity parade on August 2. Geduld and Francis had been out on bail since their initial arrest on more than 150 charges almost two years ago.
They were arrested again, with Schouwtz, on April 8 on charges of armed robbery, after a gun was found in a confiscated car. The two are part of a group of 19 who face more than 150 charges including attempted murder, 35 counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, more than 100 fraud charges and charges of contravening the Riotous Assemblies Act. They are accused of being involved in a string of driveway robberies in Claremont between November 2005 and October 2006. The 19 are set to appear in the Wynberg regional court next month. On Wednesday the accused in a separate case also refused to be sent back to the Bellville cells, saying they feared being assaulted. Geduld, Francis and Schouwtz will return to the Wynberg magistrate’s court on August 4.