Klopse boss Ridwaan “Pot” Stemmet, who was arrested for the possession of hijacked dop, has been released from jail.
The 60-year-old appeared in Wynberg Magistrates’ Court on Monday where he was granted R5000 bail.
Police arrested Stemmet and two others on Friday, after a truck was hijacked in Elsies River and the stolen goods, 36 pallets of sparkling wine worth over R1million, was traced to his business, The Penn Sports Bar in Crete Road, Wetton.
After his release, Stemmet stood outside court wearing a brown jacket and red hoodie with a black cloth mask under his chin.
When the Daily Voice asked for comment, he said his lawyer Tim Dunn would speak on his behalf, before getting into a car and driving off.
Dunn insisted his client is innocent: “The premises where Mr. Stemmet leases (The Penn in Wetton), he sublets to other people and a part of the premises is sublet to a business involving a pub and a liquor trade of some form,” Dunn explained.
“So that person who owns that pub has apparently said he is responsible for it. I have already placed it on record to the state and the court, in light of this, we would like the charges against Mr. Stemmet withdrawn.”
Dunn says police didn’t follow due process during the arrest of Stemmet.
“There was no warrant of arrest and no search warrant, and they (cops) went in without a word and out of 30 people on the premises, they arrested him.
“They could have arrested anyone else but they took him, we are not sure why.”
According to Dunn, there were more inconsistencies with the case: “The prosecutor said the value of the goods recovered is R80 000, not R1 million, the investigating officer said it was between R300 000 and R400 000. We notice the amount is coming down.”
Dunn said his client will lodge a formal complaint with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).
Stemmet’s family said he recently had a triple bypass and cops refused to let him have his medication.
“He was treated quite badly in the Lansdowne Police Station over the weekend,” said Dunn.
“He is very unhappy about that, a complaint will be made to IPID.
“He is unwell, he is suffering from a number of medical conditions, he has a very strict diet which he was denied.”
Despite Stemmet’s previous conviction for armed robbery, and guns and drug cases, Dunn adds his client is an upstanding citizen who doesn’t like crime: “He condemns all forms of organised crime and crime as a whole and he is a community activist and he wants to stop crime instead of promoting it. He feeds the needy and is an anti-gangsterism activist.”
The matter was postponed for further investigation and Stemmet is expected to appear again on 6 November.
Stemmet is a founder of The Pennsylvanians minstrels and Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association’s ex chairperson.