Press Statement – Napoleon Webster Spends 200 Days Detained
200 Days In Detention Without Trial – Free Napoleon Webster
Wrongfully accused detainee, Napoleon Webster, finally has a court date to appeal the decision to deny him bail. Friday 10th August has been set as the date for his legal representatives, the Socio Economic Rights Institute, to argue that the court erred in judgement when denying Webster bail.
On Tuesday the 25th of July, the community activist will have spent 200 days in detention without trial. Webster was arrested along with several co-accused on murder charges relating to the tragic death of an ANC leader at the hands of a mob. Napoleon was detained for three months before his bail hearing. Despite several credible witnesses indicating that Napoleon was not present at the time the murder took place, the judge still denied Napoleon bail.
Subsequent court appearances have been characterised by incessant delays and displays of incompetence on the part of the Rustenburg court. These have ranged from power failures to several incidences where court stenographers have failed to arrive at work. These repeated delays have denied Napoleon a fair trial and have only served to unfairly and unjustly extend his detention.
The continued detention of Napoleon Webster represents a miscarriage of justice. As we have asserted before, we believe that Napoleon has been unfairly targeted and that his arrested is politically motivated. After 200 days, this cannot be allowed to continue. We hope that the High Court judge will rule in Napoleon’s favor at the impending review of the bail hearing set for the 10th of August 2017. We further urge the National Director of Public prosecutions to drop all charges against Napoleon immediately and release him from prison. We believe that his arrest does not serve the ends of justice and is a ploy to punish Webster for his community activism in Marikana, an allegation the NPA and justice system need to consider very seriously.
As the 5th anniversary of the Marikana Massacre quickly approaches, the need for justice for Napoleon Webster, the arrested mine workers and all those who still suffer under dire conditions in Marikana, must be taken seriously. We can no longer remain silent while the just are punished, and those responsible for the real crime are allowed off the hook. It is time for justice in Marikana.
Issued by Bishop Jo Seoka on behalf of the Marikana Support Campaign.
For more information, please contact
Bishop Seoka on 0828931378 or
Nigel Branken on 0833412385