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EC Farmer with Long Criminal History Denied Bail on Multiple Charges

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

Louis Lategan, a notorious farmer from Aberdeen, has been denied bail by the Graaff-Reinet Magistrates Court on many severe charges, including rape and human trafficking. The 41-year-old's bail reversal was a result of a successful opposition by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), represented by spokesman Luxolo Tyali.

According to Tyali, the magistrate ruled that Lategan failed to demonstrate exceptional reasons warranting his bail and concluded that he posed a flight risk. Further solidifying this decision was Lategan's likelihood to commit schedule 1 offences and potential to tamper with witnesses.

Lategan, who had handed himself over to the police with his attorney in July, has been in custody ever since. When he surrendered, the law enforcement officers had already secured a search warrant and a cyber-crime warrant and put these into action promptly.

The disturbing tale involves Lategan allegedly deceiving women into coming to his farm with false promises of babysitting and admin positions. The NPA has confirmed reports of six complainants, travelling from distant places like Mpumalanga and KwaZulu Natal, who claim they were drugged and sexually assaulted multiple times by Lategan on these occasions.

Tyali shared that one courageous woman who escaped is now at a safe location and added disturbing allegations of Lategan assaulting a nine-year-old child with a broomstick, after luring the child to his farm from the Aberdeen township under false pretences of play.

Lategan's seedy past includes convictions for hunting animals without a permit (2003), reckless driving (2004), assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm (2006), and alleged participation in a plot to assassinate President Jacob Zuma in 2012- a plan coined as the "Boeremag Trial".

In a surprising development, all treason charges against Lategan were dropped only a month after his arrest in 2013. The State, however, still maintains belief in his involvement in a fuel tank bombing conspiracy in Gqeberha.

Despite his controversial acquittal, Lategan found himself in hot water again, facing conviction for kidnapping and sexual assault, in September 2022 - charges which resulted in a suspended sentence. More recently, his current case was shifted to Graaff-Reinet from Aberdeen due to conflict with another pending case against him for child rape.

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