Poaching case set for trial
THE attorney- turnedaccused, who shares the dock with members of what is believed to be the Western Cape’s biggest abalone-poaching syndicates, says the State is in possession of privileged documents that may compromise their defence to the allegations.
This emerged in the Western Cape High Court yesterday when the attorney, Anthony Broadway, appeared for a pre- trial conference alongside several members of the alleged syndicate, headed by Gansbaai fisherman Frank Barends.
However, Cape Judge President John Hlophe refused to consider Broadway’s claims, saying a pre-trial conference was not the proper forum to deal with this.
Broadway, Barends and more than 20 coaccused have been charged with several contraventions of the Marine Living Resources Act and the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, including money laundering and racketeering.
It is alleged that the syndicate has operated since 1998 and was managed by Chinese national Ran Wei, Barends, Christiaan Crous and Donovan Dickson.
Judge Hlophe postponed the case to April 14 for trial, saying it was high time that the matter was certified trial-ready.