Simba Mhere (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - It was a bittersweet moment for the friends and family of Simba Mhere and Kady-Shay O'Bryan on Thursday morning in the Randburg Magistrate's Court .
The pair lost their lives in a car accident on William Nicol Drive in Johannesburg earlier this year. The man who stands accused of smashing into them, 22-year-old Preshalin Naidoo, once again appeared in court, facing charges of culpable homicide and reckless and negligent driving.
After the defence launched an unsuccessful bid for a postponement, the magistrate called for the trial to begin without further delay.
The news was greeted with smiles from the families of Simba and Kady, but their joy was short lived as the accused dropped a bombshell on proceedings. No sooner had Simba's friends and family taken their seats, the accused asked for his lawyer to step down as his official representative, citing a breakdown in the pair's relationship as the reason for the decision.
Faces that once wore expressions of nervous relief now stared blankly into space, slightly frustrated at yet another delay in proceedings.
As the magistrate notified Naidoo that he would have only 24 hours to find a new legal representative, his family broke down in soft tears
But outside of court, the friends and family of Simba were a little more relaxed.
"The family is obviously disappointed that the matter didn't proceed today, but are satisfied with the prosecution's work to point out that the accused is not taking this matter as seriously as the family's involved. With it being Simba's birthday, at least there is some positivity in knowing that the case will now go forward properly," a family spokesperson for Simba and Kady, Ryan Harris, told The Juice .