Court dismisses bail appeal for wife of slain Pofadder hotelier
The Kimberley high court has found no extraordinary circumstances to justify the release on bail of Suretha Brits, charged for the murder of her Pofadder hotelier husband.
Brits had approached the Kimberley high court to appeal the Pofadder magistrate’s court’s decision to deny her bail.
Brits was found floating in a swimming pool at one of the couple’s properties in Pofadder on October 7 2020. He had several stab wounds.
Suretha Brits is charged with murder, aggravated robbery and perjury. In her bail appeal, she relied on her personal circumstances to convince the court that exceptional circumstances existed to permit her release on bail.
These included her state of health and the steps required to ensure her wellbeing; her and the estate of the deceased's business interests; and the physical, material and emotional wellbeing of her three children.
The lower court had found that Brits’s circumstances would be the same if she was convicted of the offences.
“In her evidence in chief the appellant was at pains to make out a case that her medical conditions were life-threatening. This approach did not survive cross-examination. The appellant was forced to concede that her medical conditions were stable, that she was receiving her medication as well as medical treatment and had access to her family doctor if required and if the appropriate arrangements could be made,” said judge Lawrence Lever.
Lever found that the issue of her and her late husband’s businesses was also not as pressing as she had made out.
“The evidence in this regard was that of the appellant that she had a close relationship with her three children who were aged between 10 and 12 and needed her emotionally.
“On all of the evidence placed on the record in this bail application the value judgment that I make is that the appellant has not established the required exceptional circumstances that are sufficiently compelling to take her case for bail beyond the ordinary to show that the interests of justice would permit her release on bail,” Lever found.