Johannesburg - Jailed Czech gangster Radovan Krejcir has cried foul over prison officials allegedly cutting his calls whenever he speaks to his mother in his native language.
Appearing at the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Palm Ridge on Wednesday, Krejcir also complained that the Department of Correctional Services was not complying with an order allowing easy access to his lawyers and private doctors.
Contrary to an earlier order obtained at the South Gauteng High Court that he should be in a cell of four prisoners, Krejcir said he was confined to a single cell for 22 hours each day.
Krejcir was appearing at the Specialised Commercial Crime Court over a fraud case, which is separate from the criminal trial he was attending at the South Gauteng High Court.
With three co-accused, Krejcir was being tried at the high court over charges including murder, conspiracy to commit murder and unlawful possession of ammunition.
He was convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison in another matter. The 2016 sentencing related to his role in the kidnapping and torture of Bheki Lukhele, whose brother had vanished with 25kg of tik.
Krejcir appeared with three other co-accused at the commercial court on Wednesday before magistrate Brian Nemavhidi.
He used the opportunity to seek an order against prison officials of Leeuwkop Correctional Centre, where he was jailed.
“The relief that I’m asking for is actually a right that my client is entitled to. It’s within your authority to intervene in this matter,” Krejcir’s lawyer Jeff Mendelson told Nemavhidi.
Mendelson said it was unjust for his client, who was a cancer survivor, to be denied access to his doctors and attorneys.
Krejcir also wanted the order that he should not be in a single cell enforced.
“He’s left in prison with orders that are not complied with,” said Mendelson.
“Krejcir wants to be allowed to call his mother overseas,” Mendelson added.
He argued that all other foreign prisoners were allowed to speak in their native languages over the phone, but not Krejcir.
“He’s allowed phone calls to family and friends. (The existing court order) doesn’t say that these must be within the Republic of South Africa. It doesn’t say they must be in English,” said Mendelson.
State prosecutor Richard Chabalala denied that Krejcir was not allowed to speak to his mother.
“Him calling his mother, that issue was dealt with in court fully. It turned out that he does get the opportunity to call his mother,” said Chabalala.
“Instead of speaking to his mother, he spoke to an attorney in the Czech Republic.”
Chabalala said Krejcir and his lawyer had a penchant to bring the same application every time they appeared before a new magistrate or judge.
“Each and every time we appear in court, they raise the same issues,” said Chabalala.
Responding to this, Mendelson said: “It would not be necessary to make these applications if my client was afforded his rights.”
Nemavhidi ordered Mendelson to take his client’s application to the high court, which granted the orders he alleged were not being enforced.
“If Correctional Services is not complying, the proper forum is the high court,” said Nemavhidi.
“You can’t keep rehashing court orders in every court when your client appears. This matter must proceed. We can’t be held back
“My order is go back to the high court and inform the court that correctional services is not complying.”