Amanda Watson
News Editor
2 minute read
20 Aug 2014
6:58 am

Krejcir lawyer wants rules ‘broken’

Amanda Watson

The trial of Czech Republic fugitive Radovan Krejcir began yesterday with a rap over the knuckles for his defense advocate from the presiding judge.

FILE PICTURE: Annelene van den Heever, lawyer for Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir, is seen at the Johannesburg High Court. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

The relationship between Annelene van den Heever and Judge Colin Lamont has at times been adversarial, which boiled over in the High Court, sitting in Palm Ridge, on Monday.

Lamont was mollified when Van den Heever eventually apologised and proceedings moved on.

Advocate Johan Spangenberg then rocked the legal boat when he put in an application to cross examine the lead detective in Krejcir’s kidnapping, attempted murder and dealing in drugs trial.

The charges stem from an incident where Bhekithemba Lukhele was allegedly kidnapped when his brother Bhekisizwe Nkosi apparently stole 25kg of tik worth R24 million and disappeared with it. Lukhele alleged Krejcir poured boiling water over his head in an effort to find out his brothers whereabouts.

The detective, Captain Mashudu Ramuhala, has been testifying since last week regarding the conditions under which he obtained a confession from Krejcir’s co-accused, Sandton businessman Desai Luphondo.

Former East Rand Organised Crime Unit warrant officers Samuel “Saddam” Maropeng, George Nthoroane and Jan Mofokeng, and Siboniso Miya are also in the box facing the same charges.

Luphondo’s defense has claimed his confession was beaten out of him and has disputed its admissibility, which brought about a trial within a trial.

Spangenberg – for Nthoroane – lead the charge for all the accused in trying to gain access to Ramuhala outside of the rules that govern the process currently underway.

Said rules basically state questions have to be confined to issues surrounding the admissibility of the contested confession, but it was revealed in court the defense team was afraid the State would not put Ramuhala on the stand once the trial within a trial had concluded.

Which was perfectly within the States right, argued Judge Lamont, adding there was no requirement for the State to reveal its strategy.

In his objection to the application, prosecutor Louis Mashiane made a strong point when he said there was no case law for what the defense team was trying to do.

In turn Van den Heever said it was within the judges ambit to develop common law.

Some of the issues the defense team wanted to grill Ramuhala on was why were two dockets opened, witnesses who claimed their statements were altered and why had he not retrieved vital closed camera television footage.

The trial was postponed until Monday, when Lamont will deliver his verdict.