South Africa

Top cop's case against activist Arendse dismissed over social media posts, emails

Top cop's case against activist Arendse dismissed over social media posts, emails
Cape Town – Whistle-blower and community activist Colin Arendse has claimed victory in a defamation case brought against him by police Major-General Greg Goss.

Arendse faced four counts of criminal defamation in the Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s Court relating to alleged slanderous social media posts and emails about Goss.

The case stems from alleged utterances by Arendse in May 2017 relating to an alleged rape case which a victim registered at Mitchells Plain police station.

Arendse said all the charges were dismissed as the State failed to prove its case.

Arendse made the social media posts on Facebook that he was not at all “surprised that the incident occurred under the watch of that local village idiot Major-General Goss”.

He is also alleged to have sent an email that Goss was “non compos mentis” and unable to fulfil his duties as a commissioner police officer”.

Arendse denied the allegations against him.

“The complainant in this matter, ex-police general Greg Goss, laid these fake charges against me only after I had blown the whistle on serious corruption and had referred the matter to the office of the National Police Commissioner.

The magistrate ruled that the State produced no evidence that the accused was the author of the posts and that the State failed to call its expert witness who was an IT expert to testify,” Arendse said yesterday.

He said Goss only read part of the emails that he complained about and failed to prove that his character was assassinated, as he alleged.

Arendse said from the onset he was adamant that there was no case to answer and suggested malice, obstruction of justice and an abuse of the process of law.

In their responding papers, Arendse’s lawyer Winston Erasmus had charged that Goss’s evidence was of such poor quality that it could not be relied upon.

“Accordingly, there is no credible evidence on record upon which a court, acting carefully, may convict the accused. Consequently, the accused should be discharged on all charges against him,” he argued.

Erasmus charged that the evidence brought before the court could not be authenticated and therefore had to be dismissed.

Erasmus said he would consult with his client and consider the merits of a malicious prosecution case against the State.

Goss told the Cape Times that he had not been informed about the outcome of the case.

“If what you are saying is true, I will have to appeal this decision.

“This was an open and shut defamation case that has been coming on since 2017.

‘‘It went to the DPP for a decision to prosecute, and took this long to reach a conclusion.”

Goss said he would enquire with the NPA about the outcome of the case before embarking on an appeal process.

Cape Times