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Boeremag family can use laptops to study while behind bars, ConCourt rules | News24


Dr Lets Pretorius and his two sons, Johan and Wilhelm.

  • Three former Boeremag members, Dr Lets Pretorius and his sons medical doctors Johan and Wilhelm Pretorius, have been granted permission to maintain their laptops of their cells for examine functions.
  • The court docket dominated that their computer systems be made out there for inspection at any given time by jail authorities.
  • The division of justice and correctional companies argued if the three had been granted permission to make use of their laptops with modems to entry their examine materials, it could pose a safety risk to the jail facility.

Three sentenced prisoners have been granted permission to utilize their private computer systems, with out the usage of a modem, of their cells for private use for so long as they continue to be registered college students with any recognised tertiary establishment in South Africa.

This after Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola, and the division of correctional companies didn’t persuade the Constitutional Court to overturn a 2018 excessive court docket ruling granting the three former Boeremag members – Dr Lets Pretorius and his sons, medical doctors Johan and Wilhelm Pretorius – permission to maintain their laptops of their cells for examine functions.

The court docket additionally dominated that the boys’s computer systems be made out there for inspection at any given time by any consultant of the division.

The three are in jail for the early 2000 plot to violently overthrow the federal government. Claudia Mokone was killed when a chunk of metal landed in her shack throughout a Boeremag bomb assault. Since the appliance was purchased, Lets Pretorius was launched on parole in 2020 with one in every of his sons Kobus – who was stated to be a bomb producer.

Wilhelm Pretorius, Dr Lets Pretorius and Johan Pretorius.

The Constitutional Court’s Friday judgment learn: “I am of the view the respondents have the following basic human rights: the right to human dignity; the right to study, and; the right to further education. They are entitled to the enjoyment of these rights, unless justifiable limitations are placed on the enjoyment of such rights.”

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“The education policy of the department infringes on those rights without justification, which means they unfairly discriminate against the respondents as envisaged by the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act.

“These infringements don’t serve a function that’s thought of reliable by all affordable residents in a constitutional democracy that values human dignity, equality and freedom above all different concerns.”

The judgment read:

They impose costs, especially for the respondents, that are disproportionate to the benefits that it obtains. The court a quo was therefore correct in its finding that the said policy constitutes unfair discrimination and that the relevant provision should be reviewed and set aside.

The department argued that if the three were granted permission to use their laptops with modems to access their study material, it would pose a security threat to the prison facility.

Students

At the time of the application, Pretorius and his sons were all postgraduate students while being held at the Zonderwater Correctional Centre in Cullinan.

Lets Pretorius

Lets Pretorius.

They were allowed access to their personal computers and laptops only from 07:00 until 14:00 on  weekdays, and only in the communal computer room during “open-time”. 

The trio said that their “open time” had to be used for other things like clinic check-ups and medical treatment. This, they argued, would cut into their “open time” by between two to three hours.

They said sometimes the computer room would also open later than 07:00 and often no access to the computer room was allowed due to a general lockdown as a result of security concerns.

“Additionally, their ‘open time’ would usually by decreased by them having to take care of ablutions, have breakfast, and obtain guests.

“The respondents were not permitted access to, or allowed to, utilise their computers or printers whilst locked up in their cells, which adversely affected their scholastic performances as post-graduate students, who needed access to their study material, so the respondents argued, for longer periods.”

The trio stated after they couldn’t entry their computer systems, they needed to write assignments and theses by hand and later sort them out which meant they fell behind on their assignments.

“All of this hampered and impeded, unnecessarily so, their studying and their studies, which resulted in delays in the completion of their courses of study,” the court docket stated.


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