Perly kingpin Blignault fires defence counsel
Convicted perlemoen smuggler and racketeering kingpin Morne Blignault, already sentenced in September to 20 years in jail, fired his defence counsel on Thursday ahead of sentencing proceedings in a different case.
Blignault, 46, confirmed he had cancelled his mandate with defence attorney Alwyn Griebenow and had appointed Hennie Bence in his place.
Blignault, along with his son Morne Jr, 26, Jacob “Japie” Naumann, 35, Jan “Danie” Prinsloo, 31, and Paul Bezuidenhout, 22, earlier pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering and contravening the Marine Living Resources Act.
In total, the men were charged with 16 counts which stem from an illicit perlemoen-smuggling enterprise and an apparent web of organised crime extending across Nelson Mandela Bay during November 2016 to January 2017.
The case was postponed to December 14 for sentencing proceedings. –