Rodrigues Case Postponed, Judge Scathing on Legal Costs









                                  Joao  Rodrigues at the Palmridge High Court: Courtesy of Ahmed Timol Family Trust

The criminal trial of Joao Rodrigues has been postponed yet again to 16 February 2021 after a sitting at the Palmridge High Court on Monday, 07 December 2020. It was noted by Judge Monama that the outcome of Roderigues appeal to the SCA is still awaited. 

A warrant of arrest was issued for Rodrigues when he failed to attend court proceedings on 29 October 2020. The warrant of arrest was cancelled and his bail extended. Legal representative of Rodrigues, Mr. Minnaar, explained that there was a misunderstanding between him and the Accused pertaining to whether he should have appeared or not. 

Judge Monama was scathing about the costs incurred thus far for Rodrigues’s legal expenses. This included legal representation at the Re-opened 2017 inquest into the death of Mr. Ahmed Timol, numerous criminal court appearances; appearances before the Full Bench of the South Gauteng High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein seeking a permanent stay of prosecution, 342 A Application. His legal costs are covered by the State as he was previously employed by the South African Police.

A PAIA application brought by the nephew of Mr. Timol, Imtiaz Ahmed Cajee for the breakdown of the expenditure borne in respect of legal representation for Mr. Roderigues at the 2017 inquest and the criminal trial, was partially answered by the South African Police Services. A further request for the exact breakdown of the expenditure that totaled R 3, 585, 205.92 (Three million five hundred and eighty-five thousand two hundred and five rand ninety-two cents) that excludes costs for legal counsel for the SCA is still outstanding. An internal appeal was lodged with the Minister of Justice and no response has been provided to date.