The man accused of the murder of retired Irish aid worker John Curran could not apply for bail in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Wednesday because an interpreter was not available.
"The French interpreter is off sick," said Magistrate Gregory Jacobs.
Mitspa Onyoka arrived in the dock from the cells, wearing sandals, tracksuit pants and a hoodie.
He tugged at his beard stubble and the toggles on his tracksuit top as prosecutor Melaney Wells broke the news about the lack of an interpreter to the magistrate.
Curran was found stabbed to death in a secure high-end building opposite the provincial offices of the National Prosecuting Authority in Cape Town.
Curran had worked as a director of education for Mellon Educate in South Africa and was preparing to return home after his tenure had ended.
Onyoka is understood to hail from the Democratic Republic of Congo, but the Department of Home Affairs has indicated via a submission at his last hearing that there is no documentation regarding his stay in South Africa beyond 2015.
His bail hearing was set for March 12.