Rossellotty counsel quits

2011-03-29 00:00

THE legal aid attorney representing Gerald Rossellotty (40), who is charged with the murder of his lover, Nokwazi Ntuli, last April as well as the rape of a six-year-old child in 2006, withdrew at the start of the trial in the high court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

The attorney did not give reasons.

This means it is unlikely the matter will go to trial this year, and Rossellotty was warned that he will remain in custody pending trial unless he brings a successful bail application.

He has so far not applied for bail, having abandoned the attempt in the magistrate’s court last year.

Rossellotty appeared sombre and did not look round or greet anyone in the public gallery during his brief court appearance.

Legal aid attorney Ishi Khan told Judge Mohini Murugasen and her assessors yesterday he no longer believes that he is able to fulfil his mandate on behalf of Rossellotty and asked that he be allowed to withdraw from the case. He said he had explained all the “ramifications and repercussions” of his withdrawal to Rossellotty, who understood.

He also told the court he is confident the Legal Aid Board will appoint another attorney to represent Rossellotty in his place.

The judge granted Khan leave to withdraw, adding that he is not required to give reasons for his action. However, she expressed her concern to Rossellotty that this would cause a delay in the trial and said it is in the interests of justice that cases are dealt with expeditiously.

State advocate Dorian Paver said that due to the congested court roll it is likely the next available trial date would be some time in 2012.

The judge told Rossellotty she hopes he understands that a case cannot simply be adjourned on every occasion it comes to court, particularly when it is set down for trial. She added that if a new legal representative is appointed, Rossellotty would be expected to give him “full and proper instructions” so that the matter can proceed.

The state alleges that on April 16 last year Rossellotty and Ntuli were involved in an argument at his simplex in Monzali Drive, Hilton. After wards she sustained fatal injuries.

Afterwards, allegedly in a bid to cover up what happened, Rossellotty is said to have set fire to the flat and driven Ntuli’s body to an isolated area, where he placed it on a mattress, doused it with a flammable substance and set it alight.

Earlier that day Rossellotty was allegedly with his other lover, Joygayle Simone Wahl, at Grey’s Hospital where she gave birth to their son.

Rosselloty is facing charges of murder and arson arising from the Hilton incident, and has been charged with the rape of a child on September 2, 2006.

The rape allegedly took place at the Monzali Drive simplex when the little girl visited Rossellotty.

It is alleged that the owner of the simplex, Graham Carter (who was a friend of Rossellotty), became aware the child was in distress and the men argued. They then drove the child to her mother in Pietermaritzburg.

The girl was admitted to hospital the same night.

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