Krejcir case delayed for logistical reasons

Johannesburg - Logistical problems continued to delay the trial of Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir and five others in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, sitting in Palm Ridge, on Monday.

Judge Colin Lamont agreed to adjourn the matter as Captain Bongani Gininda, testifying in a trial-within-a-trial, had not provided evidence that was required of him.

"He still needs to provide his logbook and diary," said Annelene van den Heever, for Krejcir and co-accused Desai Luphondo.

"The witness said he knows where the logbook is," Van den Heever said, adding that the documents were reported to be in Johannesburg.

The trial was adjourned on Wednesday last week to give the same witness time to furnish the logbook, diary, and his car tracking records.

Only the car records had been provided thus far.

Prosecutor Louis Mashiane insisted that the defence could continue their cross-examination of Gininda without the logbook.

"It's unreasonable to call for a postponement," he said.

Lamont disagreed.

"I think it’s better we get this out of the way," he said.

The trial-within-a-trial came about after Luphondo alleged that he was assaulted and influenced by police into making a confession.

Gininda has testified that he came in as an independent police officer to take down the confession.

He told the court he had asked Luphondo whether he was assaulted or influenced prior to taking the statement.

Luphondo denied it and signed a document confirming this, Gininda said.

He also told the court he saw no physical evidence suggesting that Luphondo was assaulted.

Blood tests

Meanwhile, the accused in custody continued to have problems accessing food while in the police cells.

Last week, accused Siboniso Miya complained about not having been fed while they spent time in court cells.

Van den Heever said court security had insisted that blood tests needed to be done to prove that some of the accused were diabetic and needed to be given food at regular intervals.

"They need to be taken to the district surgeon for blood tests," she said.

Lamont made no ruling on the matter and the accused were returned to the cells.

Krejcir, Luphondo, Warrant Officers Samuel "Saddam" Maropeng and George Nthoroane, Jan Lefu Mofokeng, and Miya face charges of kidnapping, attempted murder, and dealing in drugs.

They allegedly recruited a man known as Doctor Nkosi to help smuggle 25kg of tik (methamphetamine) to Australia.

He worked for a cargo company at OR Tambo International Airport, and allegedly disappeared with the shipment.

Krejcir and his co-accused allegedly then kidnapped and tortured his brother, Bheki Lukhele, in a bid to have him reveal his sibling's whereabouts.

Nkosi has also testified in the trial, where he confessed to stealing the drugs.