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In The News South Africa

Alleged fake lawyer claims health woes at prison

PORT ELIZABETH, August 11 – An alleged fake lawyer, who regularly provided legal analysis to news organisations for years, battled to hold back the tears while claiming she continued to battle with her ailing health while being detained in prison in Port Elizabeth.
An emotional Brenda Wardle told the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court she was struggling while being incarcerated because for the last 14 days she had not received the correct dosage of medication for her blood pressure.
“Pardon me I’m not in a good state, if I feel dizzy I’ll sit down,” she told Magistrate Lionel Lindoor.
Wardle told the court that her friend had been blocked by prison officials each time she attempted to drop off the medication.
She was close to tears and asked the court if the State could make an arrangement to take her to the nearest pharmacy.
“I am not well, I have those frustrations. I even fell over at prison and prisoners had to help me to get to the dining hall,” said Wardle.
Wardle shot to fame during the highly publicised murder trial of Paralympian Oscar Pistorius. She was interviewed on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) TV as a legal analyst.
The 56-year old is being accused of pretending to be a lawyer and offering “services” to a convicted murderer. The State alleges that during April 2009 and August 2013, Wardle was paid R538,766 to assist jailed Stephanus van Aardt, who was requesting early release on parole.
The State alleges that Wardle pretended to be an attorney, but she failed to bring an application for Van Aardt’s early release.
Van Aardt, an Eastern Cape dairy farmer in Somerset East, who was convicted of murder in 2007 and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for the assault and death of 15-year-old Eliot Magabane, was as a result not eligible to have his term of imprisonment converted.
The so-called legal analyst and author was arrested in East London earlier in June after evading court for more than a year. She was denied bail last month.
Wardle, who is conducting her own defence, said that she needed her blood pressure to stabilise in order to be trial ready.
“It is well within my rights for my private doctor to visit me at prison where he could fit a device on me to monitor my blood pressure for the next 14 days,” she argued.
Lindoor postponed the matter in order for Wardle to get her health sorted out and become trial ready.
He also ordered that every effort was made for Wardle to receive her medication.
“We trust we will be able to confirm the proposed trial dates then,” said Lindoor.
The case was postponed to August 25.

ANA

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