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Top cop walks free after two year court ordeal

Warrant Officer Severiano Blundin


After facing numerous charges which include kidnapping and assault, during a court case that spanned two years, Gqeberha Flying Squad member Warrant Officer Severiano Blundin is a free man.

Blundin, 35, was acquitted on all charges in the city's magistrate's court on Tuesday when Magistrate Wesley Reid granted a Section 174 Application for his discharge.

By law, an accused is allowed to bring a Section 174 application at the close of the state's case, when they are of the view that there is no evidence on which the court may come to a guilty verdict.

The charges against Blundin stemmed from a R1.2m civil matter against police minister Bheki Cele where he was accused of the kidnapping, unlawful arrest, and assault of Alvado Francis, Sherwin Eckhardt, and Keanu Arends in March 2019.

Francis and Eckhard claimed they were taken to the parking lot of the Algoa Park police station under the pretense that the Gang Unit wanted to question them.

The men further claimed that they were assaulted by having black bags placed over their heads, cable tied, kicked, and hit with fists.

Before delivering his judgment, Reid refused an application by the State to reopen the application, on the basis that they wanted to add to their rebuttal.

He said granting the State's application would be improper and that they had ample opportunity to state their case.

Reid said Francis and Eckhardt were poor witnesses who contradicted themselves on their evidence, and various key factors of the State's case.

This included claiming they were kidnapped, but then stating they got into Blundin's police vehicle on their own accord, first testifying that Blundin wore civilian clothing and then backtracking to say he was in full police uniform and backtracking on their claims that they were tortured in Gelvandale and pepper sprayed during the alleged ordeal.

Blundin said being hauled before the court and facing charges leveled against him by a criminal was disappointing.

He and his squad are known to have cracked down on gangsters in the city's northern areas, making several arrests that have led to convictions and securing hundreds of illegal firearms.

Whilst in the dock, Francis stated that Blundin and all police officers were liabilities for gangsters.

Severiano Blundin and his attorney, Advocate Jason Thysse

"He (Francis) shot and killed several people. For me to have faced accusations coming from a gang leader's side was just very disappointing.

"There's a very thin line between the police and being on the wrong side of the law.

"What I have been through basically crushed me and I do not feel motivated anymore," said Blundin.

He also said doing the job he is passionate about became challenging with the court case hanging over his head and death threats made on his life.

"I kept my head up nonetheless and just faced whatever came head-on.

"I had to protect my family, my colleagues, and the community," he said."

Blundin thanked his friends, family, and his legal representative Advocate Jason Thysse for believing in him and supporting him through the ordeal.

He has previously been subjected to an internal disciplinary hearing and cleared of any wrongdoing.