News24 Wire
Wire Service
1 minute read
26 Sep 2019
12:07 pm

SANDF soldier murder accused struggles to land lawyer

News24 Wire

A lawyer approached to represent one of the men accused of the murder of SA National Defence Force soldier Michael Njomane turned down the case, the Blue Downs Magistrate's Court heard on Thursday.

SANDF members patrol the streets of Manenberg on May 21, 2015 in Cape Town, South Africa. Picture: Gallo Images / The Times / Esa Alexander

Prosecutor Nathan Adriaanse told the court that the accused, who may not be named by court order, had opted to appoint private counsel instead of applying for Legal Aid.

“He (the lawyer) has, however, declined to accept the mandate due to personal reasons,” Adriaanse said, without elaborating.

The accused rubbed his face and looked down, confirming softly to the court that this was the case.

He has opted to try to find another private lawyer and remains in custody until the postponement date of October 4.

He and a group of co-accused, including a 15-year-old teen, are accused of Njomane’s murder.

They face charges of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and kidnapping, and their court appearances have been split up so that those who are applying for bail are separate from those who aren’t.

Njomane’s body was found in the boot of a burning government car after the fire brigade put out the fire in Blue Downs on August 18.

The teen is also appearing in an unrelated rape case, understood to involve the gang rape of two girls who were walking across a field.

Kuils River police linked him to the gang rape case after he was arrested for the murder of the soldier.

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