Man accused of raping toddler requests new legal representation

The trial of a man accused of raping a toddler was postponed by the Port Elizabeth High Court on Tuesday after the man requested new legal representation.
The trial of a man accused of raping a toddler was postponed by the Port Elizabeth High Court on Tuesday after the man requested new legal representation.
Image: Deneesha Pillay

The trial of a 49-year-old man accused of raping a toddler hit a snag on Tuesday when the St Francis Bay man at the eleventh hour decided to change his legal representation.

The man, who cannot be named as he has not yet pleaded, indicated to the Port Elizabeth High Court that he wanted a different lawyer minutes before the trial was set to begin.

This after the man had consulted with his Legal Aid SA appointed defence counsel advocate Johan van der Spuy on Tuesday morning.

In addressing the court, Van der Spuy said the suspect said he wanted a Xhosa-speaking lawyer to represent him.

Van der Spuy further asked for a postponement to allow the man's new counsel time to consult.

Judge Irma Schoeman allowed the postponement and granted Van der Spuy permission to withdraw.

The matter was postponed to November 6 for the man to consult with his new lawyer.

The trial is expected to continue on November 11.

The man is accused of raping a 19-month-old baby who was left in his care after the woman who was initially caring for the child had left the Elf Street, Sea Vista house at about 6am on August 12 2018.

The child was found crying and bloodied at about 4pm that day by a resident.

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