A shocking case of sexual assault and genital mutilation was uncovered by the Hawks in Bloemfontein in late September. Tenant Profile Network (TPN) Credit Bureau came to know of the horrific story when it received a call from a member managing the rental property in which brutal crimes were committed, just as reports started flooding the media. Understandably, the owners of the townhouse wanted the occupants out of their property as soon as possible and urgently needed legal advice.
The Danish man, who was renting in Langenhoven Park, appeared in front of the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on charges of sexual assault after the Hawks found the parts of 21 different female genitalia in his freezer which he is said to have kept as “trophies”. Police also confiscated surgical equipment and anaesthetic medication contravening the Medicines and Related Substances Act. He is suspected to have sedated his victims before performing illegal surgeries but police still have to determine how many victims there were and whether they are still alive.
Fortunately for the owners of the property, they are protected by their lease agreement for an eventuality such as this. As bizarre as it may seem to expect crimes of this nature to be committed in your property, it is better to be prepared for the very worst of scenarios than to be left without recourse. Thankfully, the TPN lease agreement signed in this instance contains a clause allowing the landlord to cancel the lease on seven days’ notice should the landlord become aware that the tenant is conducting any kind of criminal activity from the premises.
It is difficult to see any light in disturbing criminal activity where multiple victims and their families have been affected. The only positives are that the authorities have put a stop to the crimes being committed – and for the property owner, the lease agreement can be cancelled regardless of the outcome of the bail application.
* By Michelle Dickens, MD of TPN Credit Bureau