German kidnap suspects go to high court
January 22, 2004
CAPE TOWN — Two German immigrants, who last year allegedly kidnapped the
teenage son of a wealthy Table View couple, are to go on trial in
the Cape High Court.
However, the Directorate for Public Prosecutions had not yet
furnished either an indictment, or a date of trial, said senior
prosecutor Fiona Cloete. Nor had the two yet been asked to plead.
Michael George Peter Brandl, 50, and his former partner Marcus
Multhhaler, 36, have been in custody since their arrest in August
last year. They were represented by attorney Keith Gess, who
lamented the delay.
He said the investigation had been completed in November last
year, and that it "escaped the understanding of a normal person"
why the DPP was not yet able to provide the indictment and date of
He gave the court notice that he would "take appropriate steps"
if the information was not yet available at the next hearing, on
Brandl and Muhlthhaler faced charges of kidnapping, attempted
extortion and the illegal possession of a semi-automatic firearm,
DPP Specialist prosecutor Shireen Riley told an earlier court
They are alleged to have kidnapped the teenage son of Dutch
couple Richard and Myriam Weggelaar in August last year. The boy
was kidnapped while he was walking the family dogs on Sunset Beach
in Milnerton, near the family's luxury house. The kidnappers
allegedly demanded a R5-million ransom from the Weggelaars.
After both men were remanded, Brandl appeared before the same
court alone, to be remanded on fraud charges relating to his
alleged illegal entry into the country.
The fraud case was also postponed to February 24.
On the first fraud charge, he allegedly pretended to be Edward
Thomas Watts, in order to obtain a South African passport and
Watts at the time was the common law husband of Luelle Naidoo,
with whom Brandl allegedly contracted an illegal marriage of
convenience to remain in the country.
On the second charge Brandl allegedly used Watts's name to
obtain a South African identity document for himself.
A third charge concerns the alleged fraudulent marriage.
It is alleged he applied to the Department of Home Affairs for
temporary residence and a work permit, as Naidoo's accompanying
spouse, whilst involved in a gay relationship with Multhhaler.
At his bail hearing, Brandl told the court that Multhhaler had
broken off their relationship. –Sapa
Gay German national in court twice in one day [15/01/2004]