An irate Vereeniging circuit court judge chided a murder accused who wanted to drop his lawyer and go it alone saying even ANC president Jacob Zuma engaged a legal team to defend him.
Judge Kathy Satchwell charged at Thabang Radistsela, 24, after he said he was firing his lawyer advocate Percy Tshabalala.
"No one should act on his own, particularly in criminal cases.
"Important people also use lawyers like Jacob Zuma, who has a team of lawyers in his cases. He knows the value of having a lawyer," said Judge Satchwell.
Judge Satchwell advised Raditsela to seek the help of the Legal Aid Board if he could not afford to pay a lawyer.
Raditsela abandoned Tshabalala at the beginning of his trial in which he and Aaron Molamo, 20, face murder and robbery charges.
Raditsela said that he no longer needed Tshabalala's services because they could not agree on certain aspects.
Judge Satchwell warned Raditsela that he was facing serious charges that could see him spending the rest of his life in jail or a lengthy prison term.
"Taxpayers can't afford to pay for you to have another lawyer because you disagreed with Tshabalala.
"Workers and unemployed people also pay Value Added Tax for you to have a lawyer for free," said Judge Satchwell.
Raditsela and Molamo allegedly killed Thabang Mafa after robbing him of his clothes on August 12 last year.
Mafa was coming from a party when the two allegedly threatened him with a firearm and robbed him of a pair of jeans, sneakers, a wristwatch and a gold ring before shooting him in the head.
Raditsela and Molamo have pleaded not guilty.
Judge Satchwell postponed the trial until November 17.