Case of lawyer accused of race attack postponed

Gary Trappler is accused of slashing the tyres of Green Point resident Thandi Mgwaba’s hired car on 19 February 2020.

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Cape Town lawyer Gary Trappler outside the Magistrate’s Court on Thursday where he faces charges of malicious damage to property for allegedly slashing the tyres of a Green Point resident’s car in February 2020. Photo: Sandiso Phaliso

Lawyer Gary Trappler is expected to take the stand in April to explain why he should not be found guilty of the malicious damage to property charges he is facing. On Thursday, he made a brief appearance at the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court.

He is accused of slashing the tyres of Green Point resident Thandi Mgwaba’s hired car on 19 February 2020. The case against Trappler was initially withdrawn in 2021 due to lack of evidence, but CCTV footage of the incident was made available by Mgwaba’s neighbour. Mgwaba then successfully petitioned the Director of Public Prosecutions for the case to be reinstated.

Trappler pleaded not guilty during his last appearance in November.

Following the incident in 2020, Mgwaba told the court that she no longer felt safe and relocated to KwaZulu-Natal, where she currently lives. Mgwaba previously testified that she believed Trappler slashed her tyres because she is black.

On Thursday, Magistrate Venge Qula postponed Trappler’s case to 9 February because his attorney, Anel du Toit, was not in court due to severe chest pains. His testimony was provisionally set down for 16 April, pending Du Toit’s availability.

Trappler was reprimanded by the magistrate for wearing an attorney’s bib while he stood in the dock as an accused. He apologised and immediately removed the bib.

Trappler told Qula the case was “frustrating” and that he would like the matter to be resolved soon.

Mgwaba had travelled to Cape Town from KwaZulu-Natal for the hearing.

TOPICS:  Court

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