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Fidentia trial postponed

Cape Town - The embezzlement trial of former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown was postponed by the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

Judge Anton Veldhuizen ordered Brown to be back in court on Monday to finalise the appointment of his Legal Aid lawyer Braganza Pretorius.

The trial of former Fidentia chief executive Joseph Arthur Brown is being heard in the Western Cape High Court. File photo: Brenton Geach. Credit: Independent Newspapers

The State is expected to call its next witness on Tuesday.

Brown is on trial for allegedly running a pyramid scheme and using investors' funds for his personal gain.

He has pleaded not guilty to four counts of fraud, two of corruption, one of money-laundering and two of theft.

His trial was originally set down to start on January 31, 2011, but has been dogged by delays because of frequent changes in his legal representation.

Brown fired Pretorius earlier in the case and hired lawyer June Marks. A short while later, Marks said she could not continue without being paid and she withdrew from the case in November. Brown has since represented himself, pending a Legal Aid application.

Veldhuizen ordered a running record, so that if the Legal Aid Board agreed to re-appoint Pretorius, he would have access to a transcript.

Pretorius sat in front of a well-dressed Brown on Thursday and told Veldhuizen all the remaining documentation would be filed with the board on Friday.

Veldhuizen warned all parties to use the postponement constructively.

“Don't rest on your laurels in the meantime. Let's go with it.”

Sapa

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