Travelgate trial moved again

THE trial of four travel agents accused of parliamentary voucher fraud might start only in September, a prosecutor told the Cape high court yesterday.

Jannie van Vuuren was speaking as the case was postponed yet again, this time because of problems with legal aid.

"This show must get on the road," warned exasperated Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso, pictured. "We're not going to stop it."

The trial was due to start yesterday, after a postponement from June last year.

But Peter Burgess, the latest advocate appointed by the Legal Aid Board to represent Estelle Aggujaro, one of the agents, told Traverso he was withdrawing.

He said there had been a "breach of trust" between himself and Aggujaro.

Aggujaro told Traverso she felt Burgess had been "looking at witness statements and accusing me", and that she was being pressured to enter a plea agreement.

Traverso warned her that if she was not satisfied with Burgess' replacement, she would have to defend herself.

William Fisher, representing another accused, Graham Geduldt, told Traverso he had not yet been accredited by the board so that it would fund his defence of Geduldt.

But the board's high court unit manager Russell Cloete said Fisher had not submitted an application. - Sapa