- Grootboom agreed that Burmeister had asked to ‘book out’ the laptop as he was going to take it to the IT company which implied a purpose and not a seasoned cop making the dumbest theft attempt. Grootboom admitted that that was not the behaviour of someone wanting to steal.
- He doesn’t remember who else was on shift but remembers that Sergeant Carmen Coetzee wasn’t (Coetzee’s role seems to be becoming integral to the Defence’s case).
- He would switch from remembering nothing to remembering things that lack solidity. This led to Bruwer accusing him of making up a story… and being told to do so.
- When there’s a shift change, there’s a handover which includes a check on all items in the safe and a signing for such. The computer wasn’t reported missing. Furthermore, the OB (Occurrence Book) made no mention of the alleged incident.
- Why did Grootboom do no follow-up for months on the laptop that had gone missing in his watch?
- Grootboom stated in court that he’s worked the day shift which was contradicted by his affidavit in which he had stated the night shift that started at 6pm and ended at 6am. This suggests that his affidavit was wrong and begs reason why?
- Grootboom says that in February he was called in by Colonel Jeffrey Matiwane, the acting Station Commander, and told that a case was being made against Burmeister. He was told to make an affidavit which he did whilst sitting at the Colonel’s desk. He claims that the Matiwane left the office whilst he did so and that he, Grootboom, left the affidavit there. A typed version of his affidavit then appears, strangely witnessed by Sergeant Koba who hadn’t been present. Additionally, Grootboom admitted that he’d altered his original statement and that he had never signed the newer, typed version.
- Grootboom’s statement also includes details such as Mrs Dippenaar looking for the laptop at the station which is odd as that happened, for the first time, two months after Grootboom had been on shift during which Burmeister had ‘taken’ the laptop i.e. detail was added that suggests it was gained from others.
In between Grootboom’s testimony, there was a recess during which one observer ironically said to Burmeister, “He was a good witness for you.”
During Grootboom’s testimony, a late arrival into the public gallery was noticed by several people to be illegally recording the proceedings. The man was later seen to be seemingly coaching Sergeant Coetzee who was sitting on the bench outside Courtroom D in which we were in. This mysterious man was identified as Derek Daniels from the SAPS Intelligence Unit. Immediately after a lunch recess, Bruwer made an emphatic note to Magistrate Derek Torlage that this was improper behaviour.
This wasn’t the first strangeness displayed by the police. As reported previously, Burmeister was oddly arrested, held for several days in a cell at another police station (run by his ex-station commander, Colonel Michael Nolans), was not allowed to have his wife see him, and had his house searched without a warrant. Why would a small case of alleged theft attract so much attention and bizarre actions when other police, accused of serious crimes, are treated with seeming respect and delayed court action?
Daniel’s presence further bolsters local rumour that a conspiracy of police officers aimed to remove Burmeister from the police force. Possible reasons why will be discussed at a later stage.
Part 3 involves testimony by Captain Michelle Lesch and finds Bruwer questioning whether Sergeant Coetzee should have been charged instead of his client.