The ongoing High Court trial of alleged Cape Flats underworld figure Nafiz Modack has encountered yet another postponement. Modack, accused of orchestrating the murder of Anti-Gang Unit (AGU) detective Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear, has made a recent appeal, adding to the series of delays the case has already seen.
Legal Representation Complications
During the latest court session, it emerged that Modack, who faces a multitude of charges alongside several co-accused, has now challenged the Legal Aid Board’s decision regarding his legal representation. Initially, Modack had successfully applied for Legal Aid, but complications arose when he requested that his current defense, Advocate Schalk van der Merwe, and former counsel, Advocate Dirk Uys, be appointed at Legal Aid’s expense.
Eric Ntabazalila, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), conveyed the developments:
“He further told the court that Legal Aid had a database from which they chose legal representatives and both Van der Merwe and Uys were not credited. He indicated the challenges Legal Aid would have if each accused was allowed to choose [their] own legal representative.”
The Accusations and Charges
Modack, set to face trial later this month, is implicated in over 3,000 charges. These include orchestrating a grenade attack on Kinnear’s home, tracking Kinnear and other high-ranking officers via cellphone pinging, and involvement in an attempted assassination of William Booth. Additional charges of fraud, corruption, and racketeering also loom over him.
Responses to the Appeal
Ntabazalila also mentioned the State’s reaction to these latest turns of events:
“The State noted what was put before court and expressed its unhappiness as it believed that the latest developments were a pathetic attempt at delaying. The State is ready to start the trial and its witnesses have been subpoenaed.”
Co-Accused Legal Dilemmas
Further complications have surfaced with co-accused Zane Kilian’s difficulties in securing legal aid, as some lawyers are either unavailable or unwilling to take on the case. Similarly, Yaseen Modack, Nafiz’s brother, is yet to finalize his legal representation and has been warned of potential contempt of court consequences.
In a notable development, former AGU officer Ashley Tabisher has reaffirmed his decision to represent himself, despite warnings about the gravity of the charges against him.
The trial, deeply entangled in legal complexities, has been adjourned until 29 January, pending the resolution of these representation issues. This case, significant in its scope and the seriousness of the charges, continues to unfold amid these legal intricacies.
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