Johannesburg - Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir and four co-accused appeared in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court, east of Johannesburg, on Friday.
Prosecutor Louis Mashiane approached the court for a postponement to conclude investigations.
“We need at least three weeks to finalise investigations,” he told the court.
“It is only a fiction of their (defence attorneys') imagination that the investigations have been completed.”
Mashiane said the State and defence agreed for a postponement to March 3 after they collated their diaries.
However, Piet du Plessis, for Krejcir, said a postponement was unreasonable and the date was not agreed on.
“My admission is accused number one (Krejcir) is in custody. He is being prejudiced because he will have to stay in custody,” Du Plessis said.
Krejcir and his four co-accused were appearing on charges of kidnapping, assault, and attempted murder.
The small courtroom was filled with over 20 police officers, some in uniform and others in suits. Some of them were armed. Officers stood outside the courtroom and searched everyone who entered. The street outside the court was partially closed down with police parked on the corners.
Krejcir, wearing a black shirt, black jacket and jeans, appeared alongside Siboniso Miya, Sandton businessman Desai Luphondo, and two members of the Hawks, warrant officers Samuel Modise Maropeng and George Jeff Nthoroane.
Four of the men were arrested in November. Miya was arrested in January.
In June, they allegedly kidnapped and assaulted a man whose brother, known only as “Doctor”, disappeared with a 25kg shipment of tik he had been recruited to help smuggle through OR Tambo International Airport.
They are accused of keeping the man at Krejcir's Money Point business in Bedfordview, Johannesburg, for four days, and assaulting him.
On January 10, the High Court in Johannesburg denied Krejcir leave to appeal the dismissal of his application for bail by the Palm Ridge Regional Court on December 13.
Magistrate Reginald Dama on Friday granted the State's application for a postponement after Mashiane indicated that a medical certificate was still outstanding.
Mashiane said police were looking for more suspects.
“It is important for the State to obtain the medical report,” Dama said.
“The outstanding medical report and the outstanding suspects in my opinion constitute a reasonable reason for a postponement.”
The matter was postponed to February 24. - Sapa