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Murder accused Zane Kilian fires his legal team again

Murder accused Zane Kilian has again changed his legal team, this time because he and his family could not afford the two lawyers. 

Kilian appeared in court alongside his co-accused, Nafiz Modack, Jacques Cronjé, Ricardo Morgan and police officer Ashley Tabisher in the Blue Downs regional court today, 20 July. 

Instead of the court hearing the bail application, which includes affidavits from witnesses and a large number of annexures, proceedings took a turn when Kilian appeared in the dock without any legal representation. 

State prosecutor Greg Wolmarans told the court that the mandate of Kilian’s lawyers, Eric Bryer and Marius Botha, “has been terminated with immediate effect”. 

He said a new lawyer, Danie Gouws, had been assigned to handle Kilian’s case.  

Judge Deon van der Spuy expressed his frustration over the absence of Gouws, saying: “When you accept a mandate, you appear in court.” He then turned to Kilian for answers.

Kilian said: “Due to financial problems my family had to terminate it. My family’s friends’ relatives pointed [out] a new attorney. Our resources are now drained.” 

Bryer told the Mail & Guardian that his services were terminated on Monday afternoon. Kilian’s family had informed him that they would no longer use his services “due to no funds available, effective immediately”.

A letter sent from Gouws Attorneys to Bryer confirms that Gouws will act on behalf of Kilian. 

It is not the first time Kilian has shown his lawyers the door.

Kilian was arrested on 23 September last year, days after the assassination of anti-gang unit detective Lieutenant Colonel Charl Kinnear on 18 September outside his home in Bishop Lavis, Cape Town. 

Kilian, a former rugby player turned debt collector in Gauteng, was initially charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and the unlawful interception of communications. Additional charges, spurred by a Hawks investigation, were filed against him. These include fraud and conspiracy to commit murder. 

The fraud charge relates to Kilian’s certificate confirming he is a private investigator, which was provided to the court by his legal representation team. The certificate was proof of evidence that Kilian acted within his rights when he tracked thousands of cellphone numbers, including that of Kinnear. But the certificate was forged, leading to the removal of his advocate, Eckhard Rosemann. 

Johan van Aswegen replaced Rosemann. 

The falsified certificate caused further disruptions in Kilian’s legal team when Van Aswegen withdrew from the case in March. He was replaced by Botha. It is not yet clear who will replace Botha. 

Van der Spuy postponed the case to 5 August.

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Eunice Stoltz
Eunice Stoltz is a junior daily news reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She was previously a freelance journalist and a broadcaster at Maroela Media and Smile90.4FM.

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