Boesak free on Sunday, says judge was prejudiced

At midnight on Sunday, convicted cleric Allan Boesak will be a free man again.

”I feel great,” he said after reporting to his parole officer at the community corrections office in Stellenbosch for the last time.

”I’m a very grateful, happy man today.”

Boesak was sentenced to three years imprisonment in May 2000 for fraud, and was granted parole after serving a third of his sentence.

He has also been given time off for good behaviour. However he said on Friday that he still maintained that he was wrongly convicted.

”I still stand by it and I guess that the day will come that somebody will have the courage to go back and look at the trial and examine the grounds on which I was found guilty,” he said outside the corrections office after completing the signing formalities.

”Judges are just human… as a minister I know they are all sinful human beings like the rest of us.

”They are led by their prejudices and in my case it is very clear to me that if I had a judge not coming from the apartheid era my case would have been totally different.

”In a sense no matter what the record says, I know and he knows that I have been unjustly treated.”

Earlier, the head of community corrections, Neil Fourie, warned him that he was still on parole until midnight Sunday and that the department could check on him over the weekend.

Boesak signed a document saying he had no complaints.

Fourie told Sapa that Boesak had never violated his parole conditions, which restricted him to the Helderberg magisterial district.

”We went to visit him at irregular times, three o’clock in the morning, midday, weekdays and weekends. He always came for his office visits… so definitely a model probationer.”

Asked if he gave Boesak the customary lecture on steering clear of crime in future, Fourie said: ”There’s no advice that I can give Dr Boesak.

”As I told him behind closed doors, I’ve learned a few lessons from him on life in general. This is the beginning of big things for Dr Boesak. I and my staff wish him the best.”

Boesak was accompanied to the community correction office by his wife Elna, his niece Melody Cornelius and daughter Sarah-len.

When Fourie said ”goodbye, ma’am” to Mrs Boesak, she replied with a laugh: ”I hope I do not see you again soon.”

Asked about his future plans, Boesak said he had over the past year been increasingly interested in theology and church work and had been doing sociopolitical analysis for clients of his wife’s company.

”My guess is that I will continue to do these things.” – Sapa

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Ben Maclennan
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