On 24 November, Rashid Kara, pleaded“not guilty” to the death threat charge. The case has now been remanded to the 21 December. The police inform me that the case against this man is solid: with his original written statement to the police admitting guilt, his laptop computer with the death threat letter that we had received on it, and his fingerprints on the laptop. They also have other evidence that identifies him as a senior member of a radical Muslim group with links to international terrorism.
Had he pleaded guilty, he may have gotten off with a suspended sentence, now, he is likely to face a heavier sentence. Why the man and his lawyer have decided to go the “not guilty” route is not yet clear. There has already been attempts to pressure both the police and the prosecutor to drop the case, and I have been threatened to withdrawal the case. Whether they have some strategy or are just trying to drag this out is not yet clear.
Yesterday, I visited Detective Inspector Estelle Kotze, in hospital. She has been dealing with the case from the beginning. She was recently diagnosed with cancer and has been receiving chemotherapy. On Tuesday, she had a major operation, which succeeded in cutting away most of the cancer, but some still remains. They are hoping that through chemotherapy and radiation this too can be eradicated. She was in some pain and greatly appreciated the visit and when I read the Scripture and prayed for her, another patient, her sister and a passing nurse joined in with us.
Please continue to lift up this courageous police inspector who has so diligently pursued this case. She has shown such concern for my safety and for that of our family. A couple of weeks ago, my parents-in-law, Rev. Bill and Harriet Bathman, and I went to the local police station to pray with Inspector Kotze. She told us: “Before we begin, I want to say, that through this case I have come to God! In reading Doctor Hammond’s books as part of my background research for this case, I started studying the Bible, praying, reading Bible stories to my children and I have grown so much spiritually as a result of this case.”
Just a few days before this, I had been discussing with my family that what man may mean for evil, God can use for good (Genesis 50:20). I expressed the conviction that perhaps God had allowed this entire death threat case to develop in order to bless the family of the Police Inspector with healing and salvation.
Please to continue to pray for Inspector Kotze, her husband (who is also a policeman), and her son and daughter. And please also continue to pray for this case, that the accused may be brought to salvation in Christ, that God may overrule, that the Lord may work all these things together or good for those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
Please also pray for our family’s protection, that no weapon formed against us would stand.
Thank you so very much for all your love, prayers, encouragement and support during this difficult time.
May the Lord be your shield and strength.
Dr. Peter Hammond