By Johan Pretorius
The trial of Ex HCM Protection Services Senior Superintendent Dave Middleton begins in the Port Shepstone Regional Court on Monday. Middleton was arrested in September last year on fifteen rape charges, sexual assault, sexual grooming of a child, display of child pornography and intimidation. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Fifty-eight-year-old Middleton has unsuccessfully applied for bail four times, the last application being turned down in April. His trial follows a hearing on 13 June at which it was determined that his defence counsel had all the relevant information to prepare adequately for his trial. At that hearing Chief Magistrate Johan Bester heard that there would be no more charges, because additional evidence could not be found on computers confiscated from Middleton. The computers were returned to his family.
Earlier this year, the Hibiscus Coast Municipality granted Middleton’s request for early retirement, which became effective from the end of February. He has been in the Westville prison in Durban after being originally held in at the Margate police station. Middleton’s defence was originally handled by Mr. Larry Seethal, but his defence counsel since January has been Mr. Xolile Ntshulana.
It has become clear over the time it took for the bail applications to be processed, and from the evidence contained in these applications, that this case could become one of the most interesting in a long time. His defence counsel has already indicated that it is going to submit evidence that witnesses for the State lied in their affidavits. The trial is attracting considerable interest because Middleton has never been shy of controversy……an ex- municipal councillor and a successful businessman, he owned his own security company and is well-known as a karate expert. Although he has his detractors, there are also staunch supporters who say the truth will come out in the trial, and that he has been set-up.