Knoesen fires legal rep, who’s brother was stabbed to death over weekend

The high treason and terrorism trial of Harry Knoesen took a few very unexpected turns today with Knoesen axing his legal representative, Advocate Musa Mavasa, who had some terrible news of his own, which would have resulted in the trial being postponed for the rest of the week.

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 before the advocate’s departure, “I told him I was sorry”.

Also read: Knoesen surprises state prosecution with guilty plea

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.

Also read: Two crusader associates testify in Knoesen trial

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.

Also read: Harry Knoesen – racist videos aired during today’s proceedings of treason trial

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”.

Gerhard Rheeder

I have been a journalist for two decades, with numerous awards to my credit, both in photography and writing. A brief stint as researcher in the opposition offices of the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature, honed my skills as specialist local government reporter, covering crime and courts.
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