‘Your conduct is out of order’ – Defence berates magistrate as Kirsten Kluyts murder case postponed
The state and defence agreed to return to court in May.
Advocate Itumeleng Masako speaks to the media about his client outside the Alexandra Magistrate’s Court on 5 December 2023. Picture: Neil McCartney / The Citizen
Proceedings became heated between the defence and the presiding officer as the case against the alleged killer of Johannesburg teacher Kirsten Kluyts was postponed.
On Friday, the accused, who cannot be named until he pleads, made a brief appearance at the Alexandra Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
The defence was expected to launch an appeal application against a judgment, which saw the suspect being denied bail in December last year.
The 21-year-old college student is facing charges of rape, robbery with aggravating circumstances and premeditated murder in connection to Kluyts’ death.
In the short proceedings, state prosecutor Ayanda Bakana told the court that investigations were still being conducted and asked for a postponement.
“There will also be DNA results that is also still outstanding,” the prosecutor said.
Bakana indicated that the state and defence had agreed to return to court on 10 May.
Magistrate Renier Boshoff then granted the postponement before the accused’s lawyer, Advocate Itumeleng Masako, attempted to address the court.
“In the interim, we will take this matter on bail appeal,” Masako told the court.
The magistrate, however, interjected much to the displeasure of the defence lawyer.
“Mr Boshoff, I have got the right to address the court please,” the advocate said.
But the presiding officer would not let Masako continue with his submission.
“You know this treatment should come to an end. Let’s be treated like professionals. I request to talk to you. The last time when I was in this court, you dismissed me with utter disrespect,” an irritated Masako said.
The defence lawyer threatened to report Boshoff to the Magistrate’s Commission.
“Your conduct is out of order sir, with the greatest respect. You do not have any respect for us as legal practitioners. You cannot go on like this, you must change for the better at least,” he continued.
“Sir listen, this is enough,” Boshoff responded.
Kluyts, a teacher at Delta Park High School, was attacked while participating in a MyRun event in Sandton on 29 October 2023.
The 34-year-old’s body was found at George Lea Park in Parkmore following her disappearance. Her running shoes, sunglasses, blue T-shirt, pants, and pink cap were taken.
According to the affidavit of investigating officer Aubrey Tshisani, Kluyts could have been killed within eight minutes of her arrival for the race.
The victim was 14 weeks pregnant at the time of her murder.
A preliminary post-mortem report revealed that there were no visible signs of injury to Kluyts’ genital organs although the court was of the opinion that “the absence of external injuries does not exclude rape”.