Confusion delays Fidentia case

2012-11-06 19:32

Johannesburg - Confusion in the Western Cape High Court about the allocation of a judge for the trial of former Fidentia chief executive J Arthur Brown, delayed proceedings on Tuesday.

Brown was to have pleaded to nine charges involving fraud, theft, corruption and money-laundering, but defence attorney June Marks was absent, and Brown was not asked to plead.

He appeared before Judge Pearl Mantame and two assessors, who asked Brown to explain Marks' absence.

The judge said she had been allocated to the case, which was scheduled to start immediately.

Brown said he and Marks had understood that Tuesday's proceedings were merely for a postponement to 12 November, and that Marks had requested him to deal with Tuesday's hearing himself.

Asked if he was aware of the reason for the postponement to 12 November, Brown said he was not.

Senior counsel for the State, Jannie van Vuuren, told the court that Judge president John Hlophe had indicated on Monday to the Western Cape Directorate for Public Prosecutions (DPP) that he did not yet have a judge available for the case.

Van Vuuren said there had been a number of delays, a more recent one caused by Brown's dismissal of his legal-aid appointed counsel and his appointment of Marks instead.

Van Vuuren said there was also confusion about whether Marks was doing the case pro-bono or pro-amico.

When she first came on record, she said she was appearing pro-bono, and she later changed this to pro-amico, he said.

He said Hlophe had warned Brown in August that his R1 million bail would be revoked, and the case would commence with or without legal representation, if he were not ready for trial in October.

However, the case could not begin in October as scheduled, because there had been no judge available, and the matter was postponed to 6 November, Van Vuuren said.

He said he had been informed by the DPP on Monday that there was still no judge available, and that for this reason the case had to be postponed to 12 November.

This prompted Judge Mantame to remark: "It seems that we do not have the same information."

Van Vuuren said Marks had requested him on Monday to excuse her from Tuesday's proceedings, because she was doing the case free of charge and did not have funds for a flight to Cape Town for a mere postponement.

Marks had also said she feared for her life, she told him.

Van Vuuren added: "I told her that only the court could excuse her, and that her presence here today was required."

Van Vuuren said Marks' reasons for her absence that she had no funds for a flight to Cape Town and that she feared for her life were not cogent.

The trial is now scheduled for 12 November.

- SAPA
Read more on:    cape town
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem

This hilarious song pokes fun at how addicted we are to our phones.

 
 

I love summer.24

The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014
10 of the strangest Christmas traditions around the world

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Any chance to explore the distant shores of things yet to be found will fascinate you. The challenge is dealing with the issues...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.