Interdict follows signboard protest

Jacques Gouws
Jacques Gouws

Ex-cop takes aim at advocate, law firm as neighbours’ row escalates

ARETIRED policeman has been slapped with an interdict prohibiting him from contacting top Port Elizabeth advocate Candice Mey after he held up a signboard at a busy intersection on Wednesday, calling her an “intellectual prostitute”.

Jacques Gouws, 49, who was standing on the busy corner of Walmer Boulevard and First Avenue, Walmer, on Wednesday, also allegedly defamed well-known Bay law firm Burmeister De Lange Soni Inc.

On the signboard, Gouws called the firm “demonic fraudsters”, while he referred to Mey as an “intellectual prostitute” and a “trollip” (sic).

Mey, who is also a former acting judge at the Port Elizabeth High Court, had been unwillingly drawn into a bitter two-year feud between a pair of neighbours that saw the men appear in court on several occasions.

Gouws claims Mey is his cousin’s daughter, which Mey denies.

In December last year, The Herald first reported on the bitter feud between Gouws and Carel du Preez, 30, who both live at the Neapolis townhouse complex in South End.

Presently, Gouws faces charges of intimidation, assault and malicious damage to property relating to an alleged September attack on Du Preez.

He also faces a civil matter relating to damage to Du Preez’s vehicle and alleged defamatory remarks made by him to complex managing agents Bellbuoy, in which he allegedly called Du Preez a “bloody sexless moffie” and a “lowlife scumbag”.

This comes after both Du Preez and Gouws approached the Port Elizabeth High Court last year in a bid to resolve the feud. Allegations of physical attacks, claims of threats with a firearm and the alleged deflating of tyres all form part of court papers lodged at the high court.

Judge Elna Revelas ruled in favour of Du Preez and granted him an interdict against Gouws.

Craig de Lange, of Burmeister De Lange Soni Inc which represents Du Preez in the matter, said he was aware of Gouws holding up the signboard and what it said about the law firm.

“It has to do with the judgment against him. He was the respondent in that matter and was interdicted from contacting Du Preez,” De Lange said.

“There was also a cost order awarded against him and he is upset. He also has a criminal matter now against him.” He said the firm would be taking the matter against Gouws further.

“You cannot have people standing on street corners defaming law firms and judges just because they have decisions against them,” he said.

Du Preez said he had been shocked when he drove past Gouws while he was holding up the signboard. “I could not believe it,” he said. Du Preez said problems with Gouws had begun almost two years ago.

“He still throws rotten fruit and bottles at my [housing] unit. He even threw a brick at me,” he said

“Last week, the criminal case was postponed because he [Gouws] said

he had glandular fever. It is very frustrating that it is taking so long, but I will continue until the end.

“I enjoy my unit so I will not move out. I did not do anything wrong.”

Yesterday, Gouws said he believed he had been acting within his rights by holding up the signboard.

“I was acting within my democratic rights. Yesterday, I was protesting peacefully, regardless of the words on the board,” he said.

“I am not ashamed by the words. It was a one-day protest and it was reasonable.”

He called Mey’s interdict “a vengeful act” and said he had reported her and Revelas to the Judicial Service Commission.

Mey directed all media queries to her attorney, Lunen Meyer. Yesterday, Meyer confirmed he had been instructed by his client to approach the high court on Wednesday night for an interdict against Gouws. It was granted by Judge Nomathamsanqa Beshe.

According to the interdict, Gouws cannot communicate or come within 20 metres of Mey or use another person to attempt communication with her. He must also hand over any firearms in his possession to the SAPS.

Advocate Olav Ronaasen applied for the urgent interdict on the basis that in addition to displaying the defamatory signboards, Gouws also sent Mey several explicit, vulgar and insulting SMSes.

In the most recent, he threatened her with extreme physical violence.

Humewood community policing forum’s Annelize Jerling yesterday confirmed she was also in the process of obtaining a protection order against Gouws following an incident at court.

“I cannot comment because I will be called as one of the state’s witnesses in this trial,” she said.

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