The Cape Town nurse accused of making another woman eat dog poo has been granted bail but will be under house arrest until a verdict in her case is reached, the Goodwood Magistrate’s Court ruled on Monday.
Magistrate Bukiwa Sambudla said Elizabeth Williams faced a Schedule 1 offence, so the onus fell on the State to show why she should not be released on bail.
Sambudla added regardless of the gravity of the alleged offence, the information presented by the prosecutor and investigating officer was not enough to say with certainty she would flee or interfere with witnesses.
“The court believes that there is no reason why this court should not grant bail to the accused with strict bail conditions,” she said.
“Thank you God,” said some of the people in the public gallery.
Bail was set at R5,000 and Williams will be under house arrest at an address in Elsies River.
She has to return to court on September 25.
As part of her bail conditions, Williams must not communicate with witnesses; she is banned from going to Tygerberg Hospital, where she is employed for the duration of the case; her house arrest is for 24 hours a day, and she may only leave the house an hour before each court appearance.
The case comes after a viral video and the arrest of Williams for allegedly forcing Ivodene van Niekerk to eat dog faeces.
Van Niekerk was also allegedly threatened with having dogs bite her private parts, beaten, subjected to home blood testing and told to swallow two “abortion pills”.
Williams accused her of having a sexual relationship with her boyfriend, Franco “Jubie” Booysen, who is understood to be back in jail for violating his parole conditions in an unrelated incident.
Princess Gopie and Porcha Jonkers were added to the case against Williams, who is a theatre nurse at Tygerberg Hospital.
Two others, Amber Booysen and Desmond Alexander, also joined them in the dock last week.
They all face charges of kidnapping, intimidation and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
All but Williams had initially been granted bail.
In a video of the incident, she is heard telling Van Niekerk: “Vriet, daai is nie my kak nie, dis my hond se kak… Vriet, moenie praat nie. Ek gaan vir jou moer.” (Eat, that is not my faeces, it’s my dog’s… Eat, don’t talk. I will hit you.)
Williams had tried to resign but this was rejected as she had to give the department at least one month’s notice.
She could face suspension for bringing the hospital into disrepute as well as disciplinary action if she is reported to the South African Nursing Council.