Judge warns about new delay in Sabbadu trail

2016-06-10 10:00

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THE trial of Christopher Sabbadu, charged with the 2014 rape and murder of his girlfriend Letisha Naidoo (20), was delayed yesterday after he allegedly changed his version when consulting with his lawyer.

Legal aid lawyer Lauren Marais told Acting Judge Christo van Schalkwyk that Sabbadu has given her “conflicting instructions” and she will have to withdraw from the case.

The details of exactly what he told her are unknown and Acting Judge van Schalkwyk stressed that he did not want to know what was said.

He urged Marais to make arrangements with Legal Aid to appoint a new representative for Sabbadu urgently.

Van Schalkwyk said he has only been appointed as an acting judge for another two weeks. If the case is not finalised in that time it will cause “huge administrative problems”.

So far the court has only heard the testimony of one state witness, police Warrant Officer Sherwin Pillay who said he arrested Sabbadu after he allegedly pointed out clothing and blood at the scene where Naidoo’s body was found in a sewer canal in Northdale.

According to his evidence Sabbadu had told him that he wanted to “come clean” about what happened to his girlfriend. The court was told that the defence is disputing the admissibility of the alleged pointing out and any alleged statements by Sabbadu to the policeman. However, Marais had not yet started to cross examine Pillay when she asked to withdraw. Naidoo’s family members, who are desperate for closure, were unhappy about the delay.

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