The Herald (South Africa)

Two in court for an­gler’s death

One ac­cused was out on bail for another mur­der

- Ri­aan Marais maraisr@times­me­dia.co.za

ONE of the men ac­cused of mur­der­ing a Port El­iz­a­beth fish­er­man at Swartkops on De­cem­ber 16 was al­ready out on bail for another mur­der when the Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Day in­ci­dent oc­curred.

Si­phumelele Pheth­elo, 21, and his co-ac­cused, Nyaniso Mathin­jwa, 23, ap­peared in the Mother­well Mag­is­trate’s Court yes­ter­day in con­nec­tion with the mur­der of Clint Ovren­ovitz, 42, who was fish­ing at Swartkops when he was shot and his car and wal­let were stolen.

The two ac­cused face a charge of mur­der, three charges of rob­bery and charges of the un­law­ful pos­ses­sion of a firearm and am­mu­ni­tion. They were ar­rested in Mother­well a day after the mur­der and were in pos­ses­sion of the vic­tim’s blue Citi Golf and wal­let.

Pheth­elo aban­doned his bail ap­pli­ca­tion and did not tes­tify dur­ing yes­ter­day’s pro­ceed­ings.

It was how­ever men­tioned that he had a pend­ing mur­der case against him, but that case was not dis­cussed fur­ther.

He seemed to follow his co-ac­cused’s tes­ti­mony with great in­ter­est from his seat in the dock.

The red-haired Mathin­jwa seemed ner­vous and reg­u­larly fid­geted with his hands as he gave tes­ti­mony dur­ing his bid for bail.

Be­fore en­ter­ing the dock he handed a piece of rolled-up toi­let pa­per to fam­ily mem­bers seated in the front row of the court.

They un­rolled it to re­veal what seemed like a let­ter, in blue ink.

While tes­ti­fy­ing, Mathin­jwa kept his head bowed and spoke softly as he told the court he lived with his aunt and grand­mother in Kwaza­khele, and that he had a five-year-old child, all of whom were de­pen­dent on the R500 he earned weekly from de­liv­er­ing bread.

Un­der cross-ex­am­i­na­tion, the state said he was ly­ing as his aunt had pre­vi­ously said in a state­ment to the po­lice that he was un­em­ployed.

When asked why he was in pos­ses­sion of Ovren­ovitz’s car, Mathin­jwa said he op­er­ated a taxi for his Nige­rian neigh­bour, whom he iden­ti­fied only as George.

He had been us­ing another car, but on the day of his ar­rest George brought him the Golf. When asked where George was, he said the man had dis­ap­peared.

Ac­cord­ing to the po­lice state­ment, Ovren­ovitz’s wal­let was found in Mathin­jwa’s pocket, but the ac­cused de­nied this, say­ing the wal­let hap­pened to be in the car he was driv­ing and that the po­lice were ly­ing about where they found it.

Mag­is­trate Ger­rie van der Merwe seemed to be­come ag­i­tated with Mathin­jwa, in­ter­ven­ing more than once to tell him to an­swer ques­tions prop­erly.

The case was post­poned to Jan­uary 20 for the court’s decision on his bail ap­pli­ca­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa