Perlemoen kingpin Morne Blignault's ex-wife’s ‘terror’ described

Convicted perlemoen kingpin Morne Blignault lalegedly manipulated and abused his ex-wife, Marshelle, the Port Elizabeth High Court heard in mitigation of her sentence. File picture
Convicted perlemoen kingpin Morne Blignault lalegedly manipulated and abused his ex-wife, Marshelle, the Port Elizabeth High Court heard in mitigation of her sentence. File picture
Image: Eugene Coetzee

The former wife of convicted racketeering and perlemoen poaching kingpin Morne Blignault – who has been convicted on similar charges – was so petrified of her ex-husband that she gave in to his every whim.

This, along with other details of how Marshelle Blignault, 42, was allegedly manipulated and abused by her ex-husband, were presented in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Friday during a mitigation of sentence hearing.

“[Marshelle] is still petrified of him [and] he continues to send her threatening messages while incarcerated,” defence attorney Alwyn Griebenow told the court, painting a picture of extreme cruelty.

Marshelle along with Jacob “Japie” Naumann, 34, Frederick “Frikkie” Nance, 24, Petrus “Pietie” Smith, 31 and Willie Nance, 56, pleaded guilty to various charges including racketeering and contravening the Marine Living Resources Act in August 2018 after their case was separated from that of Morne Blignault’s when he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Shortly after the five entered pleas, Blignault did an aboutturn and also pleaded guilty.

He was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Advocate Johan van der Spuy, for the other four accused, asked judge Mandela Makaula to consider that they were merely “foot soldiers” and asked that the court pass down lesser sentences for them.

Sentencing is expected to be handed down on March 29.


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