“The only way I can make it clearer
is if I speak louder.”
– Advocate Eduard Bruwer to Sergeant Carmen Coetzee
A heartwarming aspect of Johan Burmeister’s trial was the regular supporters in court. Some would come when they could and spend a morning or an afternoon. Others were there every day, the whole day. Everyone I spoke to was in agreement: We loved Eduard Bruwer, the advocate representing Burmeister. He’s called Broekies by his friends but I like Bruwer the Bomber. I share quotes from the trial that were either his own or a response to his questions.
- Bruwer to Sergeant Carmen Coetzee: “Honesty is paramount in a police officer’s work! The Court needs trustworthiness in witnesses to make fair judgement.”
- Sergeant Carmen Coetzee: “We trust our colleagues because they are police officers.” This was so ironic considering she and most of her colleagues who were witnesses, were caught lying on stand.
- Magistrate Derek Torlage to Warrant Officer Abrahams Coetzer: “I’m now going to ask you a strange question… did the laptop possibly fall off the rack too?”
- Warrant Officer Abrahams Coetzer: “I can’t remember everything.” He remembered to say that and similar again and again and again…
- Employee representative (for Burmeister) to Major Patrick Gogwana in the internal disciplinary hearing: “Did you check the register to decide your suspects.” If they had (or hadn’t deliberately ignored the evidence), Burmeister would not have been on trial.
- Bruwer to Major Patrick Gogwana: “Total lack of control and command of this police station.”
- Bruwer warning Major Patrick Gogwana: “Either it’s mistakes or it speaks of conduct meaning something else… but we’ll get to that.”
- Bruwer to Major Patrick Gogwana: “You willfully ignored the standing orders” and “Do you agree, either you do your job or you don’t?”
- Bruwer to Major Patrick Gogwana: “From Grootboom’s and your evidence, it seems that standing orders exist but no one follows them.”
- “No losses or shortages detected” – that and similar statements abounded in audits despite the fact that there was very much missing property.
- “We knew it was wrong.” Major Patrick Gogwana when talking about how recovered stolen property was handled.
- Bruwer to Warrant Officer Appels: “Why are you telling lies if you swore to tell the truth.”
- Bruwer: “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”
- Bruwer: “Something smells rotten about this case.”