South Africa 17.2.2017 04:34 pm

State not yet ready in Blochliger case

Supporters and media wait outside the Wynberg Magistrate's Court for the Tokai forest murder trial. Carla Bernardo/ANA

Supporters and media wait outside the Wynberg Magistrate's Court for the Tokai forest murder trial. Carla Bernardo/ANA

The state requested a postponement, saying it needed to get ‘all its ducks in a row’.

Three men facing charges of receiving and possession of stolen property belonging to murdered Cape Town teen Franziska Blochliger appeared in the Wynberg District Court on Friday.

In the dock before Magistrate Sylvia Mandla were Jerome Moses, Jonathan Jonas and Daniel Easter.

Two of them, Moses and Easter, were represented by defence attorney Monique Carstens, who said the pair wished to plead guilty to the charges.

She said she had already finalised their written plea of guilty and that they wanted the case finalised there and then.

However, prosecutor Earl Koopman threw a spanner in the works and said he had instructions to request a postponement to February 23, rather than to proceed with the matter.

In any event, Jonas’s legal aid lawyer was absent, and the case could not continue without her, he said.

He said the state did not have “all its ducks in a row”and a decision had yet to be made as to how to proceed against Jonas.

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The magistrate allowed the postponement, but warned that it would be the final one.

At the next hearing, the state could not be heard to say that it had not yet decided about Jonas, and that it wanted yet another postponement – especially if Moses and Easter wished to plead guilty and finalise their cases, she said.

At the proceedings in March, she would finalise the case against Moses and Easter, and she would then proceed to deal with Jonas in accordance with the correct procedures, she added.

The three men initially faced charges of murder and aggravated robbery, together with a fourth accused. However, the murder and robbery charges were withdrawn against the three, at a hearing before Magistrate Goolam Bowa in January.

The fourth accused – who, due to the rape charge, may not be named until his trial commences in the Western Cape High Court – has already made his first appearance at a pretrial conference in the High Court.

The 16-year-old Blochliger was found dead in the Tokai Forest on March 7 last year, some 200 metres from the place in the forest where she and her mother had agreed to meet, after the girl had gone for a jog at the popular recreation spot.

– African News Agency

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