Bee researcher’s case postponed again

A small group of men and women protested outside the Simon’s Town Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday August 16.

The lawyer representing a businessman accused of assaulting a bee researcher asked the Simon’s Town Magistrate’s Court last week to bar the media from writing about or photographing her client.

The accused, Neel Ramlall, was photographed by the media as he arrived at court, on Tuesday August 16, while a small group of men and women protested outside with placards saying, “jail violent men” and “justice for Jenny”.

Mr Ramlall faces a charge of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm. it is alleged that he assaulted Simon’s Town wild-bee researcher, Jenny Cullinan, by repeatedly striking her with a stick on July 31 last year.

In response to an article, “Beaten and jailed – a story of survival”, that appeared in the Echo on Thursday August 11, Mr Ramlall’s lawyer, Sonja van den Heever, asked Magistrate L van Rhoodie to recuse himself as he “may have read the article”.

She said the article addressed a “large portion of the case and could be potentially prejudicial to her client”.

Mr Van Rhoodie indicated that he had not read the article and Ms Van den Heever withdrew the request for recusal but asked him to postpone the case so she could examine the article.

State prosecutor Dudley Johnson said the State was not aware that the article would be published and asked the court to continue with the trial.

The trial has been postponed several times since March.

Mr Johnson told the court that Ms Cullinan is a researcher and the postponements were interfering with her work schedule.

Mr Van Rhoodie said that no cameras would be allowed inside the court but he could not control what happened outside the court.

The case was postponed to Thursday September 15.