Court scheduled to start at 9.. needless to say the once again we waited …. Chinese interpreter was late again and it was questionable as to whether she was going to arrive at all. After some schedule reshuffling and the session was postponed to later in the morning. Eventually at around 12 the interpreter arrived blaming bad weather for her tardiness.
The public prosecutor wasted no time and jumped into an attack on the accused no 2 who is asking for bail. Referring to the accused as a ‘master manipulator’ with links to criminal elements, Wolmeraans stated that he felt Accused No2 posed a flight risk as he had left the country on about 7 occasions during his current bail term and this also showed he had the resources to be a flight risk.
It was brought to the courts attention that Accused No2 was already on bail for a similar case involving ivory and the possession of ivory figurines, pendants, necklaces, cigarette holders, raw tusks and ivory cut into blocks. He also took the time to mention that the ivory found in his possession showed chop marks as well as still had traces of blood and flesh on the tusks. Wolmeraans stated that South Africa has no extradition treaty with China and should the accused flee there would be two cases outstanding that would be jeopardized.
He also commented that giving bail in this case would send the wrong message to the community. The Defense spent time trying to explain that although the accused had left the country illegally as well as failed to sign in at the Sea Point Police station he was still prepared to stand trial and had shown good faith by coming to each to each of his earlier court dates. The magistrate requested a copy of Accused No 2’s passport that had been confiscated and postponed the matter for judgment till the 29th June at 9 am.
The interpreter was told the time and date and agreed to be there .. so let’s hold thumbs and see what happens on the 29th.