Witnesses ‘too scared to testify’ against city lawyer Anthony Broadway
Both Michael Norman and David Bannister were supposed to testify for the State against Broadway on Tuesday in the Western Cape High Court.
Broadway, who is conducting his own defence, has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Prosecutor Quinton Appels told Judge Siraj Desai the matter would not be able to proceed because of the two key witnesses’ unwillingness to testify.
Norman said: “Your honour, I cannot testify because I have been threatened. I don’t know the person who made the threats, but he mentioned the names of my family.”
Judge Desai told Norman his refusal to testify could result in two years imprisonment and advised him to return tomorrow, along with his lawyer, to put it b efore the court that his refusal had a just excuse.
Bannister said: “My family, and more particularly my daughter, have been threatened. Life is worth more for me than death.
“My previous two lawyers, Noorudien Hassan and Pete Mihalik, have been both been killed and I don’t have a lawyer presently.”
Judge Desai ordered Bannister to get another lawyer and along with Norman be back in court tomorrow.
The testimony against Broadway emanates from a plea and sentencing agreement the two, along with Rasheed Baderoen, entered into with the State on December 14, 2018.
Norman and Bannister were the kingpins of an abalone smuggling ring that allegedly raked in R2billion. They each paid a R2million fine and part of the agreement was that they would testify against Broadway.
“The State has problems with two material witnesses and the matter therefore appeared to be crumbling,” Judge Desai told the State.
Appels argued that the State still had two witnesses and the financial investigating officer to take the stand.
On Thursday lawyers for Norman and Bannister will argue before Judge Desai why they their clients should not be allowed to testify in the matter and not be jailed for two years.@TheCapeArgus