The Vice President of Equatorial Guinea has been ordered by the Western Cape High Court to pay a man from Hoekwil near George in the Southern Cape, more than R39 million in damages. Seven years ago, Daniel Janse van Rensburg was jailed in Equatorial Guinea’s Black Beach prison.
The court found Teodoro Nguema Obiang directly responsible for Janse van Rensburg’s wrongful arrest and torture.
Janse van Rensburg was imprisoned and tortured for 423 days, despite being acquitted of charges of fraud and theft. This, after an aviation business deal with an associate of Obiang went awry.
Family of SA man arrested in Equatorial Guinea anxious about his safe return:
He was finally released in 2015 and able to return home, but numerous court battles followed.
Now, Obiang has been ordered to compensate for his part in the ordeal.
Janse van Rensburg says he and his family can now move on with their lives.
“Although it’s certainly not justice for what they did to us, it’s closure and I think the big part is we can close this chapter. By the grace of God, we’ve been looked after by a lot of people. I’m very grateful for the support. It’s been a long journey but we’re just glad it’s finished and we can start a new chapter in our lives.”
‘A harrowing experience’
Janse van Rensburg says it’s been a harrowing experience reliving his ordeal during court proceedings.
“The court procedures were actually really horrible. Every time you have to go, you have to remember to specify the bad parts and concentrate on the bad things. It’s really been a rough ride, it didn’t end after the two years, it only God-willing ends now so that we can start moving onwards and start putting it behind us.”
He says he has found ways to cope with the trauma.
“I did use it to write my book on, I used the bad times to concentrate on writing my book. That is something I’m going to focus on now, to finish my book and get my story out there.”
Janse van Rensburg says they are still recovering as a family and just taking it one day at a time.
Janse van Rensburg speaks to SABC News in the video below: