Not all delays in court case the accused’s fault

I FEEL as Goran Lepojevic’s friend that his side of the story should also be told (“Wooden sword case delayed”, March 27). He is not a villain, he is a father who desperately wants to be with his two-year-old son (whose birthday was on Friday).

With regard to the “wooden sword” that he carries with him, this is for protection. He was in a car accident in January last year and his right knee was crushed. Hence, he cannot run away if attacked on the street by hooligans, as so often happens in South Africa.

Your reporter also writes that he infuriated the court because he did not want to respond to a question from the prosecutor. As far as I am aware, you do not have to answer a question during a bail application hearing. It’s part of your constitutional right. Again, I also need to mention his case has been called last for the day on three occasions since the bail hearing started.

The court is completely aware that witnesses have been sitting in court since 9am.

The court is also aware that speaking to Lepojevic takes longer, his mother language is Serbian. I feel this has been done on purpose to agitate him and cause discomfort to his witnesses.

Agreed some delays have been caused by changing legal representatives, but not as many delays as has been caused by calling his case last for the day and then being told “court ends for today, it’s 4pm”. Apart from a few of his appearances since January 22, I have been at court every time his case was heard.

-A friend, Port Elizabeth

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