Puppet causes laughter in court

By admin
27 November 2014

Ventriloquist Conrad Koch arrived with his puppet "Chester Missing" at the Randburg Magistrate's Court in Johannesburg on Thursday to oppose an interim protection order against him.

"Why are we here?" Missing asked Koch as photographers and television cameras focused on him.

"We are here because you say things on Twitter," Koch said to Missing.

Dressed in a striped suit and red and white tie, Missing looked at journalists, and then turned to Koch.

"Me? No its you... I don't write my tweets!

"We need to consult... where is our lawyer Dario [Milo]? Our lawyer's name sounds like a drink! Who gets represented by a hot chocolate?" said the puppet, rousing giggles among journalists and onlookers.

Missing was brought into the courtroom followed by cameras.

"What a lot of wood..." he said as he looked around the courtroom decor.

Koch is challenging Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr's interim protection order against him.

Hofmeyr secured a court order earlier this month against Koch to prevent his puppet from "harassing" the singer on Twitter.

The order prevents Koch from threatening, harassing, or making defamatory statements against Hofmeyr.

He was also not allowed to tag him on social media websites or mention him in television and radio interviews.

Two of Koch's opinion pieces were blacked out in Sunday's City Press, one written by himself and one as Missing.

Hofmeyr said in a tweet on October 23: "Sorry to offend but in my book blacks were the architects of apartheid. Go figure."

In a column in The Times titled "Dear white supremacists..." Koch questioned supermarket group Pick n Pay and Land Rover sponsoring the "Afrikaans is Groot" festival, at which Hofmeyr would perform.

Hofmeyr recently had a sponsored bakkie withdrawn by Williams Hunt in Port Elizabeth after the tweet.

Hofmeyr has previously created controversy by singing the full version of "Die Stem" at his shows.

The song was composed by poet CJ Langenhoven but is better known as the apartheid-era national anthem.

A reworked excerpt was included in the new national anthem after the 1994 democratic elections.

Hofmeyr was not in court.

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