Instead, the accused policemen want to be represented by King’s Counsel Zwelakhe Mda who has however, not been to court for a while, due to ill health.
The Registrar of the High Court this week appointed Advocate Thulo Hoeane to represent the accused on pro deo basis after their former lawyer KC Karabo Mohau dumped them because the state had failed to pay their legal fees.
A frustrated Hoeane told the court on Tuesday that the accused were being difficult and refused to cooperate with him.
He said during consultation with the accused, only Senior Superintendent Thabo Tšukulu said he was aware that the registrar was in the process of finding a new legal representative for him after Mohau walked out on him.
But the presiding judge, Justice Charles Hungwe said the right to legal representation is not absolute, hence the prosecution has the right to prosecute an unrepresented accused.
He warned the accused that Hoeane was in court as a lawyer appointed by the court and will remain as such until further notice.
The judge was quick to add that if the accused were not happy with Hoeane’s services, they were free to represent themselves.
“Advocate Hoeane will remain in court when the matter proceeds until there are new developments,” he further warned the accused.
After KC Mohau ditched the accused last week Friday, Senior Counsel Shaun Abrahams who appears for the Crown had shown that he was unaware of the development, accusing the defence of unprofessional conduct.
But he had quickly noted that another lawyer would soon be appointed to replace Mohau in order for the trial to continue.
All accused have pleaded not guilty to the murder and the case was postponed to this week to give the court time to get another lawyer.