Drug dealer accused still seeking funds for his trial

An alleged drug dealer and son of a senior provincial government official, Neelan Naidoo, was granted a last opportunity to find a lawyer by the East London Regional Court yesterday.

After several court postponements, Naidoo, 29, sought more time to get his finances in order.

His attorney Jandra Zandberg of Changfoot Van Breda Attorneys told presiding magistrate Ignatius Kitching his client needed more time to find the money to pay for his defence.

She addressed the magistrate while Naidoo looked on from the dock.

“Your worship, the accused has informed us that he is not in a financial position to fully instruct. He has asked for until November or February next year. Should this not be accepted by the court, we will withdraw from the matter. Then Legal Aid can take over,” Zandberg said.

Senior state prosecutor Henke Ackerman berated Naidoo for making the case drag on.

Kitching agreed, saying Naidoo had had since February this year to get his defence in order.

However, he granted Naidoo until November 21 to decide if he wanted to be represented by Changfoot Van Breda or Legal Aid. The case was then postponed to 21 November.

Naidoo is the son of Neil Naidoo, an experienced crime-fighting official and chief director of community safety in the Eastern Cape department of safety and liaison.

lThe case against two men accused of raping a sex worker near the Eastern Beach in July was postponed again in the East London Magistrate’s Court.

The accused, who are aged 24 and 29, appeared before magistrate Rochelle Sam yesterday after having been denied bail.

Prosecutor Asanda Nolusu said the state was still waiting for pictures taken from the scene of the crime by police detectives.

She also told the court that the two accused were still waiting to consult with Legal Aid in order to come up with their defence strategy.

If convicted the men will face up to 25 years in prison as they are charged with the most serious Schedule 6 offence of gang rape.

They are not being named as they have not yet pleaded to a charge of a sexual nature.

Their case was postponed to October 20. — zwangam@dispatch.co.za

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