Lawyer ditches defence of alleged serial rapist

2012-03-06 18:54
Johannesburg -The lawyer expected to represent the man facing 33 rape and 33 attempted murder charges withdrew on Tuesday in the Alberton Magistrate's Court.

"I come to personally withdraw myself from this case and to refund his [the accused's] family," Golden Moloi told the court.

"I can't represent him because there is a serious conflict of interest... I know some of the victims and their parents - the girls grew up in front of me," Moloi said outside court.

The man cannot be identified until he has pleaded.

The case was postponed to April 23.

"You may apply for bail at your next appearance," Magistrate Janice Saulse said.

Earlier, Saulse spoke to the 40-year-old man outlining the problems with his legal representation.

At his first appearance he told the court he wanted to conduct his own defence but due to the charges against him he was instructed to get Legal Aid.

His family tried to arrange alternative representation and Legal Aid withdrew.

The man signed the papers to arrange Legal Aid. He remains in police custody.

On Tuesday morning, prosecutor Joyce Xakaza said the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) made a decision that the case should be tried at a high court but said the case was not ready for a transfer.

"We are waiting for the indictment. We are currently dealing with 33 dockets but they can increase at a later stage," Xakaza said.

"The State requests for another court date for the indictment to be served on the accused."

Before leaving the courtroom, the accused asked the court to instruct officers against harassing his wife.

"Can you please tell the investigating officer to stop going to my wife and telling her that the DNA tests came back positive and that I'll get life imprisonment?"

Saulse agreed.

The man is accused of raping 33 girls between the ages of 10 and 14. He also faces 33 counts of attempted murder. He was arrested in Eden Park at the end of January after one of the girls followed him to his home and alerted police.

The girls, from Gauteng's East Rand areas of Katlehong, Thokoza, and Vosloorus, were apparently lured into the veld and raped between 2007 and 2011.

During an earlier court appearance he said he was convicted for rape in 1997 and released from prison in 2005.

He attempted to speak to the court about the merits of the present charges against him but was told he would have to speak to an attorney.

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