Cape Town - Flippie Engelbrecht’s self-styled spokeswoman will be called to the witness stand to account for her version of the assault on the farmworker’s son.
This version, given during a video interview, is accessible on YouTube.
Wilhelm Treurnicht, the accused in the assault case, appeared in the Worcester Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning. The trial was postponed after his defence team argued that the state had failed to provide them with details about whether it would call a medical witness to the stand.
It is the State’s case that in 2008, Rietvallei Wine Estate owner Johnny Burger and his farm manager Treurnicht beat Flippie, then 15.
According to the Freedom Trust’s secretary Carina Papenfus, the struck-off lawyer who has championed Flippie’s cause, the assault left the now 20-year-old epileptic and blind. He later fell into a fire during a seizure and lost both his hands.
After co-accused Burger shot himself at his family home, Treurnicht has been left to face court alone.
On Wednesday morning advocate Pieter Botha, representing Treurnicht, announced to magistrate Petrus Janse van Rensburg that the defence team had subpoenaed Papenfus as a witness for the defence to be cross-examined on details of the assault given in the YouTube interview.
It has emerged that a second charge against Treurnicht, of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm on Engelbrecht’s father Flip Engelbrecht, will be withdrawn by the state.
Neither Papenfus nor Flippie Engelbrecht were at the court this morning. At Treurnicht’s court appearance in August, police had to disperse protesters who stoned Treurnicht’s vehicle and threatened him. This morning’s appearance was without inciden and Treurnicht left unimpeded.
In making the case for a postponement of the trial, Botha recounted numerous attempts by his team, throughout October and November, to receive information about whether the state intended to call upon a medical expert to testify. The defence had requested that the state confirm whether such testimony would be used to argue that Engelbrecht’s epilepsy, blindness and loss of limb was the direct/indirect result of an alleged assault by Treurnicht.
The state promised to respond to the requests but failed to provide the necessary details, ostensibly because the prosecutor dealing with the case was too busy with other court cases.
Botha argued for a postponement, saying he could not sufficiently prepare because of the state’s failure to respond adequately to his team’s requests. The state did not oppose the request for a postponement.
Treurnicht’s trial was postponed and is scheduled for April 4 and 5.