Cape Town - The trial of former Fidentia chief executive Joseph Arthur Brown was postponed in the Western Cape High Court on Monday because his lawyer was absent from the proceedings.

Judge Anton Veldhuizen told Brown that he had received a telephone call from Brown's Johannesburg-based defence attorney June Marks, asking permission for her to be absent.

“I told her I cannot deal with the matter by telephone, and that she had to come to me in chambers first thing in the morning,” Veldhuizen said.

Prosecutor Jannie van Vuuren, SC, told the court Marks had also asked him for permission.

Marks had told Van Vuuren she was handling the Brown case free of charge, and did not have funding for an unnecessary flight to Cape Town.

Van Vuuren said he told Marks that he could not give her permission because her presence was required.

Veldhuizen postponed the case to Tuesday, and said Marks had to be present.

“She must explain her situation in person, and we will take it from there.”

Marks was also absent from proceedings at Brown's appearance last Tuesday.

Brown faces nine charges, four of fraud, two of corruption, two of theft and one of money laundering.

One of the fraud counts involves a R40 million pyramid investment scheme. - Sapa