Victor Wilkens free after balcony incident

Victor Wilkens.

MBOMBELA – The attempted murder case against 32-year-old Victor Wilkens, has been temporarily withdrawn because the state’s main witness is medically unable to testify. The case was scheduled to continue in the Nelspruit Regional Court yesterday.

Specialist state advocate Ms Ansie Venter, confirmed that the state informed the court that it would not at present pursue the prosecution of Wilkens.
Wilkens was charged after Ms Amanda Joubert (24) fell from his Hillside Manor balcony on January 16, 2014.

Joubert, who miraculously escaped death, suffered a serious brain injury and multiple fractures. She is still recovering from her multiple injuries at home.  Her medical condition currently precludes her from testifying against Wilkens in court.

Joubert’s ordeal started when she hit the ground after falling metres from Wilkens’ balcony. Ms Celia Potgieter, Joubert’s mom, and her husband, Mr Nick Potgieter, received a phone call after 02:00. They raced to Mediclinic Nelspruit, the hospital where Joubert – on the brink of death had been admitted. She ended up spending two months in the hospital’s intensive care ward and was admitted to a rehabilitation centre for another two months afterwards.

Celia quit her job to take care of Joubert after she was discharged. She has been recovering at home ever since, with multiple visits to rehabilitative therapists and doctors. For the victim, who is unable to return to work as her brain injuries seriously impaired her concentration, life will never be the same again. She also struggles with medium- and short-term memory loss.

The victim spent two months in a rehabilitation centre after she was discharged from hospital.  (Photo: Facebook).

The victim spent two months in a rehabilitation centre after she was discharged from hospital. (Photo: Facebook).

According to Venter, Joubert will not be able to testify in court until her condition has improved sufficiently. “Her condition has, however, improved drastically since the incident,” she said. If it improves enough, the state will reinstitute the charge. “There is circumstantial evidence, but this needs to be corroborated by Joubert’s testimony,” Venter said.

In a previous interview with Lowvelder, the victim remembered parts of what happened the night of her fall. At the time, she and Wilkens shared his flat with Mr Cat Smith, who was accused of assaulting the late Mr Panner Cronjé at the Engen filling station on the R40 in 2013.

On the night of the incident, she remembered coming across Wilkens, who she said was smoking crystal meth.  She grabbed the pipe from his hands and could tell by his facial expression that she had to make a run for it.

According to her, she tried to run away when Wilkens grabbed her by her hair. She said he suddenly had a knife to her throat and threatened to slaughter her like a pig while repeatedly hitting her head against a wall. The police investigated Joubert’s fall and a case of attempted murder was instituted.

The suspect was arrested in Noupoort, where he was undergoing rehabilitative therapy for his drug addiction. Wilkens was brought to Mbombela where he remained in custody until he was granted R3 000 bail in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on March 3, 2014.

During a prior court appearance, Joubert’s statement about the incident was read by Wilkens’ attorney, Mr Coert Jordaan. He pointed out that Joubert had indicated the date wrongly on her statement and quoted a High Court case where the proper investigation of such a discrepancy had to precede the accused’s arrest. This also questioned her cognitive ability to compile such a statement at the time.

Amanda Joubert (24) during a previous interview with the paper.  (Photo: Nicolene Smalman)

Amanda Joubert (24) during a previous interview with the paper. (Photo: Nicolene Smalman)

Lowvelder previously reported that this was not Wilkens’ first run-in with the law. During 2010 he served jail time in England after pleading guilty to the assault of a Mr Jaypee Maderazo (29). A local woman, Ms Yolande Redelinghuys, previously accused Wilkens of assaulting her at Stables in October 2013. Joubert also accused him of assault in 2013, but the charge was withdrawn. For the time being, Wilkens is a free man.

He now resides in Silver Lakes, a luxury golf estate in the east of Pretoria. Whether he will return to Mbombela to face prosecution again, remains to be seen.

  AUTHOR
Helene Eloff
Court Reporter

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