Murder-accused fires his defence attorney
Victor Akpanta Usen, the Nigerian man who allegedly murdered his estranged wife's lover, has fired his lawyer, saying he is uncooperative.
Advocate Dean Modirwa was shown the door yesterday after representing Usen for only three days in the Johannesburg high court.
"There were questions he did not raise with the witnesses during cross-examination," the accused said. "I took notes and instructed him on the things he needed to ask but he did not."
A new Legal Aid Board counsel will be appointed to represent Usen next week.
Before he fired his counsel, the proceedings had taken a dramatic turn when Usen's suffered ex-wife, Nompumelelo Ntshiza, made a verbal attack on him from the witness box.
"Why can't you just tell the truth," Ntshiza screamed. "God will punish you. You are a sick man, you are laughing, this is nice."
Usen, who sat in the dock clutching a Bible, is on trial for the murder of Thembalihle Zibobo, Ntshiza's married lover whom he allegedly stabbed to death last year.
Usen claimed he found the deceased and his then wife naked and having sex in her room.
While Ntshiza sobbed in the witness box, Zibobo's widow, Thandiwe Komani, stormed out of court - also in tears.
Ntshiza and Usen have two children and had been separated for two years when the murder occurred. They have since divorced.
Ntshiza earlier told the court that in June 2007 Usen broke into her room in Turffontein and stabbed Zibobo several times.
Ntshiza said she ran out of the room and locked herself up in another room on the premises.
"After stabbing Themba he ran after me. He demanded that I open the door but I refused until he was gone.
The trial continues.