When dress sense takes centre-stage
There are many times when the dress sense of the accused can also take centre-stage as much as what they are being accused of is of interest. Here are some personalities whose fashion sense got tongues wagging in court:
- Thandi Maqubela (pictured), accused of the murder of her husband, judge Patrick Maqubela, was always on point during her court appearances - with bright head wraps and shades.
She wore two-piece suits or Xhosa attire in court, one would swear she was the attorney and not the accused.
She has since been released on parole after the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned the murder conviction, saying her husband could have died of natural causes.
- Sheryl Cwele, the former wife of former state security minister Siyabonga Cwele, was convicted of drug dealing.
Her drug mule, Tessa Beetge, was sentenced to eight years in prison in Brazil, where she was found in possession of cocaine in 2008.
In court Cwele rocked up in matching two-piece outfits, with chunky neckpieces and various colourful weaves. Cwele is doing 12 years in jail after her sentence was reduced from 20 years on appeal.
- In contrast, Oscar Pistorius was visibly subdued in his sharp black suits when he appeared in court for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
He projected a more humble and sober image in court.
According to Minick Law, April 26 2017, titled Courtroom Etiquette, it is said that "bold and beautiful colours are fun but being in front of a judge is not about fun, it's about justice, and justice is a very serious business. A hearing is not the time to bust out the latest avant-garde styles or your best Hawaaian shirt".