The trial of the men accused of killing Pretoria mother Chanelle Henning will be heard in the High Court in Pretoria.
On Tuesday former Nigerian Olympic athlete Ambrose Monye appeared with co-accused Andre Gouws in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court. They face charges of murder, conspiracy to murder and illegal possession of a firearm.
Shortly after proceedings began, Magistrate Maryke de la Rey deferred the matter as Monye's lawyers failed to arrive at court. Monye told the court he stood by his previous stance – he did not want a Legal Aid representative – and was going to use the lawyers who represented him initially. He said he had spoken to them on the phone earlier.
“I have sent my relatives to negotiate with the lawyers. When I spoke to them (the lawyers) this morning they said they were on their way (to court).”
De la Rey instructed prosecutor Andrea Johnson to “phone Mr Jay” (Monye's lawyer Peter Jay) and get clarity.
On her return Johnson told the court Jay told her he had not been paid and was not coming to represent Monye.
Monye then asked the court to postpone his case, to give him time to “fix” his financial problems and get his initial lawyers back. The matter was postponed to May 24.
Granting the extension, De la Rey cautioned Monye to secure legal representation or else the indictment (notice of case transfer) would be served, even without a lawyer.
The State expressed concerns over the repeated postponements to the case.
Gouws, who had a lawyer, was served with the notice of transfer of his case to the High Court in Pretoria. Monye would be served the notice at his next appearance, when his bail application resumed.
Gouws, the alleged mastermind behind the murder plot, was denied bail in March.
Charges against the two are set to be heard in the superior court from November 19 until 30.
Another accused Preshan Singh, who was released on R5000 bail, is engaged in plea bargain negotiations with the prosecution.
In December last year, Willem Pieterse and Gerhardus du Plessis pleaded guilty to charges of murder, conspiracy to murder and illegal possession of a firearm relating to the Henning case. They are serving an 18-year jail term each for their roles in the murder.
Henning was shot by two men on a motorbike as she was driving along Manitoba Drive in Faerie Glen, east of Pretoria, in November last year. She had just dropped her son off at a pre-school. – Sapa