On Friday 21 June, in Knysna Magistrates Court, the trial of murder accused Sean Kelly recommenced…. for all of five minutes.
Kelly was pacing in the court holding cells from early morning, but only appeared in the dock just after 2pm.
As he was escorted in by the prison official, it was obvious that jail time had aged him somewhat. The 51 year old no longer seemed the towering man who first appeared in court six months ago for the brutal murder of his Marigold Street neighbour, Noreen Hampson on 2 February.
Since he was denied bail on 14 February, he has been in court several times, each time the case being postponed whilst investigation continued. At his last appearance (16 May) the magistrate called a ‘final remand’ until 21 June.
Even as the process started on that given date there seemed to be confusion between Magistrate Leonore Swartz and prosecutor Zuki Mqulu as to what was set to happen, as no detailed psychiatric evaluation of Kelly had been done. Whilst they conferred with one another, Kelly, who is handling his own defense, asked if he could address the court. ‘So I can explain what’s going on’ he said.
The magistrate agreed and Kelly stood. He said that he had been told on 6 June that he would have to wait to be referred to Valkenberg for psychiatric evaluation, because at that time there was no space available for him at that facility.
The magistrate took this into consideration and remanded the court case until 5 July – which was the date given by Valkenberg as to when they would know if there would be room for him.
Court was then adjourned.