By Catherine Sasman
The proceedings of the High Court were again frustrated by accused child rapist and murderer, Deon Engelbrecht, last week when he insisted on legal representation after dismissing three lawyers from representing him.
On Tuesday last week, the court pronounced that the trial against Engelbrecht would commence Thursday after the accused made it clear that he would represent himself because the lawyers assigned to his case by the
Directorate of Legal Aid did not represent him the way he wanted.
On Tuesday, Judge Collins Parker warned Engelbrecht that he was “playing with the court”, and “playing with the law”, saying that Engelbrecht did not seem to understand the seriousness of the crimes he stands accused of.
Engelbrecht is accused of raping and brutally killing a 14-year-old runaway, Christo Moshoeshoe on December 23, 2003 near the Gammams Railway line south of Windhoek.
It is understood that after he raped Mosheoshoe, he slew the boy by bludgeoning his skull with a cement block presumably from a roadside kerb.
He allegedly then dragged the body, half-clad, about 25 meters and dumped it in a riverbed.
Engelbrecht was apprehended near the crime scene when he reportedly returned to the scene of the crime about two hours later, covered in blood despite attempts to wash away the evidence from his trousers.
The suspected rapist-murderer was 19 years old at the time.
Appearing before the High Court Thursday, Engelbrecht complained about apparent abuse by the court when Judge Parker spoke loudly to him.
Judge Parker explained that he was not shouting at the accused, but instead executed the law.
Midway through the court proceeding, Engelbrecht was allowed again to go to the Directorate of Legal Aid for a renewed request for legal counsel.
Returning from the directorate, Engelbrecht insisted that he would want to be represented by Advocate Wallie Christian, whereupon Judge Parker asked: “So, you went lawyer shopping?”
Engelbrecht is said to have frustrated the court proceedings by his insistence on a legal representation of his own choice. On Tuesday, after Judge Parker stressed that the court proceedings would commence Thursday, Engelbrecht had seemingly capitulated to representing himself, and asked to be able to peruse all documentation related to his case.
This was granted by the court, only to have Engelbrecht return with a renewed resolve to have legal counsel after all.
The distraught mother of Moshoeshoe, Pauline Sekgonyane and two other witnesses again arrived at the court in anticipation that the trial would finally commence, only having to leave disappointed.
Judge Parker said the trial would commence this week, arguing that Engelbrecht had been given ample time to find a lawyer of his choice.