Murder accused grins after getting Afrikaans lawyer

2015-05-15 12:49
A photo of Tracey-Lee Meyer, one of Johan Lewis’s alleged victims. (Supplied by her family)

A photo of Tracey-Lee Meyer, one of Johan Lewis’s alleged victims. (Supplied by her family)

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Cape Town - A Cape Town man, charged with killing a woman and raping two others he met while cycling, expressed delight on Friday at being assigned a lawyer who spoke his mother tongue.

Johan Lewis’s trial was to have started in the Western Cape High Court this week but was delayed on Monday when his lawyer Likhaya Makana withdrew because of a “conflict of instructions” regarding the plea explanation and admissions.

The court sent the matter back for a pre-trial hearing and Lewis appeared with his new Legal Aid lawyer Mr Arend before Judge Robert Henney on Friday.

Lewis, dressed in a neon-yellow tracksuit, cracked a smile when told his lawyer issues had delayed the trial.

Replying in Afrikaans, he looked at Arend from the dock and said: “I can’t go ahead with someone who doesn’t understand my language. I am happy that he has been appointed because he can speak my language”.

The court erupted into laughter.

Prosecutor Nadia Ajam said Lewis was in custody and that another pre-trial was needed.

Henney postponed the matter until May 29.

Rape, kidnapping, murder

Lewis faces 12 charges, which include rape, kidnapping, murder and attempted murder.

Tracey-Lee Meyer was last seen alive by her sister on September 12 2013. The State will allege that she was raped and strangled to death. It intends to present DNA evidence, according to the summary of substantial facts.

On October 15 2010, a woman was walking to a friend’s home in Lotus River and met with the accused and another man, both on bicycles.

She was offered a lift and allegedly taken to Lewis’s home in Tsessebe Road, instead of her friend’s home.

The State will allege that he tried strangling her with a ligature and raped her repeatedly. She was beaten with a sjambok and threatened with a firearm. She was only allowed to leave the house the next morning.

Third incident

In a third incident, a woman went to a shop in Parkwood on January 17 2010.

She apparently met with Lewis and another man, who were both on bicycles and known to her.

She apparently accompanied them to a bridge near the railway station in Plantation Road, Ottery.

The State alleges she was raped, taken to Lotus River, and then returned to the bridge.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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