Modelling boss and convicted rapist Dawie de Villiers says he can't afford lawyer
Modelling agency boss Dawie de Villiers‚ who has been convicted of rape‚ on Wednesday revealed that he had no more money to pay for his legal fees.
De Villiers has been convicted of 26 charges‚ including rape‚ sexual assault‚ compelled sexual assault‚ exposing children to pornography‚ accessing child pornography and fraud.
His lawyer‚ Annande Theart‚ told the South Gauteng High Court that she was withdrawing from the matter because her client could no longer afford her services.
But De Villiers was adamant that he wanted to continue with his private attorney.
Judge Cassim Moosa‚ who is the presiding judge in the matter‚ was not available on Wednesday‚ so De Villiers pleaded his case before acting judge Carla van Veenendal.
He asked the court to postpone his matter for a further two to three months in order for him to raise more funds for his legal fees.
“I am self-employed and with all the impact of the media and everything else that has been happening‚ that has affected my income‚” he told Van Veedendal.
The matter was postponed in February for De Villiers to compile a pre-sentencing report‚ which has not yet been compiled.
Prosecutor Arveena Persad accused De Villiers of using delaying tactics.
“You should start thinking about the sentencing report being drafted at the cost of the state‚” Van Veenendal advised him.
The modelling boss‚ who has contributed to the Miss South Africa pageants‚ is currently out on bail of R15‚000.
Throughout the trial‚ De Villiers had maintained his innocence‚ alleging that the girls who had come forward with these allegations were on a mission to tarnish his image and company‚ Modelling South Africa.
One of his victims told the court that she was 15 years old when De Villiers befriended her on Facebook.
He invited her to his modelling agency but then raped her at his home on a day they had scheduled a shoot.
A seven-year-old girl testified that she had been exposed to naked models at De Villiers’s home‚ while a 10-year-old boy claimed to have seen pornographic images on his laptop.
Delivering his verdict last month‚ Moosa said he had accepted the witnesses’ testimony as credible.
The case returns to court on March 14 for continuation of trial.
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