‘CAT’ drug makers out on bail


Cape Town – Two men accused of manufacturing the drug “cat” in a luxury Sea Point flat were granted R100000 bail each on Monday in the Cape Town magistrate’s court. Jacobus Johannes Venter, 41, formerly of Pietersburg, and Jacques van Rensburg, 37, formerly of Tulbagh in the Boland, were released despite fears by prosecutor Carmen Daniels and investigator Gerhardus Kotze’ that they would abscond. Magistrate Aziz Hamied said this fear could be allayed with strict bail conditions, and the court thus had no reason to refuse them bail. Although huge sums of money had been deposited into several bank accounts owned by the pair, prior to their arrest, they were unable to immediately raise the bail money and will remain in custody until the cash is raised on Tuesday.

Kept in prison hospital

At the request of defence attorney Ben Mathewson, they were remanded to the Sea Point police cells. Mathewson said conditions for awaiting trial prisoners in Pollsmoor Prison, where they were kept previously, were appalling. In affidavits handed to the court, both men said they were HIV-positive, and were held in the hospital section at the prison. Kotze told the court the two had previously manufactured “cat” from their Noordhoek home about two years ago, before renting an apartment in Sea Point for this purpose.

Both face long jail sentences

Van Rensburg told Kotze he and Venter made “cat” to get money to study and to start a joint business venture. He said van Rensburg, after his arrest, had confessed to a magistrate that he made a living by selling drugs. Kotze said he had a strong case against both men, who faced a long jail term if convicted, and this alone was motivation to abscond. The men will appear in court again on Tuesday, when the case will be postponed to a later date.

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