Mr Mavasa’s brother was murdered in a stabbing in Pretoria over the weekend, after he attempted to intervene in an armed robbery.
Apart from dealing with the family crisis, Mr Mavasa endured a verbal attack from Knoesen who, told the court that Mr Mavasa had contributed nothing to his defence over the course of the trial.
Learning of Mr Mavasa’s devastating loss, Knoesen told www.mobserver.co.za before the advocate’s departure, “I told him I was sorry”.
Mr Mavasa’s consequent withdrawal allowed the case to continue with investigating officer, Captain Jaco Koekemoer taking the stand.
With Knoesen taking over his own defence, and cross- examining witnesses by himself, Captain Koekemoer was in for a rough ride from the get-go.
None, however, had it harder than Judge Johanna Mthimunye who reprimanded Knoesen on several occasions to ask short clear questions and abstain from making lengthy statements.
This did not deter Knoesen from asking only a single question directly to Captain Koekemoer and spending the rest of the time making defamatory statements against the Hawks anti-terrorism veteran of 17-years.
Knoesen accused Captain Koekemoer of only arresting him to score a promotion and to protect his right-wing friends whom Knoesen claims he was merely agitating by spewing harmless propaganda.
Captain Koekemoer testified that the NPA issued the directive to arrest Knoesen after being asked by Judge Mthimunye whether he only arrested Knoesen to gain a promotion.
Judge Mthimunye had to formulate each of Knoesen’s, sometimes minutes long, monologues into questions for Captain Koekemoer.
Knoesen found it strange that no emergency teams were assembled ahead of the planned terrorist attacks, and also that he was the only one arrested when the Hawks came knocking in November 2019, while his brother Ronny was also present.
Captain Koekemoer repeated his testimony that a decision on arrest had been taken by the NPA.
Knoesen also accused Captain Koekemoer of organizing his solitary confinement by keeping him in the dark about what was happening outside, which Knoesen said was the only reason he attempted to apply for bail.
Captain Koekemoer told the court that the decision to confine Knoesen was no his, but taken by correctional services.
After lunch, state prosecutor Derik Rowles intervened, pleading with Judge Mthimunye to stop the longwinded statements by Knoesen which the state equated to witness testimony.
Knoesen went on to draw comparisons with the September 11 terrorist attacks in America, and five females arrested for terrorism in France, before Judge Mthimunye interjected again, questioning the relevance and explaining to Knoesen that the country’s anti-terrorism laws aren’t responsive, but preventative.
Knoesen also referred to himself as a “K-brother” to blacks, saying his whole intent was merely to irritate right-wing organisations who actually did want to attack government.
Captain Koekemoer made it clear that Knoesen was arrested on crimes already committed with planning terrorist attacks and recruiting assistance to carry them out.
Knoesen abruptly requested an adjournment till tomorrow after warning the public gallery “that Koekemoer will be kept on the witness stand for days”.