Attorney Mari Rencken after being allegedly assaulted by an accused at the Wynberg Magistrates’ Court.
- An assault case was opened against a man after he allegedly beat up a lawyer in a Cape Town court.
- The lawyer was not involved in her case, but was just waiting for her case to be called when the incident unfolded.
- The accused apparently became agitated when his assault case was postponed.
Apparently agitated by court proceedings, a defendant who recently appeared at the Magistrates’ Court in Wynberg, Cape Town, in an assault case, allegedly assaulted an unrelated lawyer, slapping him in the face. .
Mari Rencken, 47, was sitting next to the accused box in court last Thursday when the incident unfolded. She was expecting to be called on a matter she appeared on behalf of a client.
“I had a case that was suspended for mediation and I had to go back to court and tell the prosecutor what happened,” Rencken told News24.
While waiting for her case to be called, the court was still dealing with the accused who allegedly approached her. Rencken said that as the magistrate said he would postpone the matter, the accused was visibly upset.
“The guy was getting agitated because he wouldn’t stop talking. The interpreter told him to calm down.
“When he came out of the box, I was sitting in front of him and he just slapped me, my head hit the wall and I fell off my chair.
It came straight out of the accused’s box. I didn’t expect anything and without hesitation he came and slapped me. I don’t know if I had time to intervene, I don’t know what was happening, but there was no intervention when he came out of the box and came to get me.
“I never expected him to be mad at me because I had nothing to do with his case.”
She said the accused was there for an assault case and had not received bail, which is why he was on his way to the cells when he allegedly attacked her.
Rencken was assisted by someone in court, who took her to a clinic.
She had a cut in her left eye, which was also swollen. Rencken believed her glasses had cut her when they broke when she fell to the ground.
Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk confirmed that a common assault case has been registered and is being investigated by the Wynberg Police Station.
“In 2021/05/20 at approximately 10:30 am, the plaintiff, a 46-year-old woman (also a lawyer), was at Magistrates Court 2 of Wynberg, busy with the case, when she was assaulted by an unknown man with an open hand. .The unknown man was appearing in court 2 on an unrelated matter,” said Van Wyk.
Rencken said she was shaken after the incident but had to go ahead and keep going to court to work.
“I’ve been doing this for 21 years. This is the first time it’s happened. I’m a little scared, but this is my bread…so I just have to go and do it,” Rencken said.
Rencken said she used to feel safe walking into a courtroom, but since the incident she’s been thinking about what might happen.
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