The Herald (South Africa)

Woman tells how she tried to help dy­ing young friend

- Devon Koen koend@ti­soblack­ Crime · Viral · Incidents · Austria · Iceland · Port Elizabeth · Belarus · Vanuatu · Belgium · primary school · Hans-Adam II

A young woman has de­scribed in court how she promised her bleed­ing, dy­ing friend she would get her help af­ter the in­no­cent teenager was shot dur­ing a heated ex­change in an Al­goa Park pub.

She was giv­ing ev­i­dence at the trial of Carl Nas­son, 26, of Al­goa Park, who is charged with mur­der­ing Vic­to­ria “Vicky” le Roux, 16, in Septem­ber 2014.

CCTV video footage cap­tured at the tav­ern on the day Le Roux was shot dead was also brought into dis­pute in the Port El­iz­a­beth Re­gional Court on Thurs­day when Nas­son’s de­fence ques­tioned the video’s au­then­tic­ity.

The footage is al­leged to show how Nas­son fired a shot through a closed steel roller door which killed Le Roux, who was at the Cradock Sports Bar with friends.

Ear­lier in the day, an emo­tional Chane Swanepoel told the court how her best friend from pri­mary school had been shot while they were stand­ing in­no­cently in the pub with friends and fam­ily who had gone there to buy al­co­hol. They were both 16 at the time.

Nas­son was ar­rested shortly af­ter the shoot­ing and has pleaded not guilty to charges of mur­der and the il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of a firearm and am­mu­ni­tion. He has since changed his le­gal coun­sel at least four times.

Swanepoel de­tailed how her group, which in­cluded Le Roux and Swanepoel’s aunt, un­cle, cousin and four oth­ers, made their way to the nearby tav­ern from her cousin’s house.

Re­call­ing the tragic events, Swanepoel could not con­tain her emo­tions and openly cried in the wit­ness box.

She told the court that while wait­ing at a ta­ble she had no­ticed two men en­ter the es­tab­lish­ment and go to the bar. A short while later, the men walked out the door lead­ing to the road.

Swanepoel claimed that at that stage her cousin, only iden­ti­fied as Morne, fol­lowed the two men out­side and when he ar­rived back at the ta­ble he was clearly an­gry.

“Morne ... was red in his face. I asked him what hap­pened and he said ‘noth­ing’.

“When I looked back, I saw one of the guys walk back in. He was shout­ing some­thing to­wards our ta­ble.

“[He] and Morne ex­changed words and then he walked out again. When he came back, he was scratch­ing at some­thing at his back.

“He took some­thing from his back and pointed it at our group sit­ting at the ta­ble.

“I saw him point a gun at Morne,” Swanepoel said, fight­ing back tears.

Af­ter a heated ex­change of words, the al­leged gun­man walked out­side again.

Swanepoel said Le Roux had be­come very anx­ious and she had tried to keep her calm.

She said she had seen her aunt go out­side and went to the door to in­ves­ti­gate. But as she went back in­side, she heard a gun­shot go off.

“I looked back and saw [Le Roux] had fallen. I fell down next to her and called out to her. I thought she was jok­ing.

“I said ‘Vicky’ and turned her head and I just saw blood – the blood was flow­ing and her eyes were very wide open.

“I took her hand and she had tears in her eyes. I told her ‘Vicky, I will go get help’.

“I started to scream and shout. My aunt came and said I must rather stand aside.

“The third time I asked if she was OK my aunt said ‘no, she didn’t make it’,” Swanepoel said, be­fore break­ing down again.

Swanepoel’s aunt died two years ago.

Asked by pros­e­cu­tor Hen­nie van Heer­den if she recog­nised Nas­son, Swanepoel said she re­mem­bered see­ing him at the tav­ern on the day of the shoot­ing but could not elab­o­rate fur­ther.

The owner of the tav­ern, Jo­hannes “Babs” Brown, said he had been in is home, which is on the same prop­erty, when he heard the com­mo­tion out­side.

Ac­cord­ing to Brown, when he looked out­side he saw two men hurry to a maroon VW Golf, climb in and speed off.

Brown said when he went to the tav­ern he saw the body of Le Roux and im­me­di­ately called 10111 while ac­ti­vat­ing his se­cu­rity panic but­ton.

When po­lice ar­rived, Brown viewed the now dis­puted CCTV footage and iden­ti­fied Nas­son as the shooter.

“I don’t know [Nas­son] per­son­ally but heard about him as a prob­lem per­son [in the area]. I only knew him from sight and from his name.

“He had come [to the tav­ern] on a few oc­ca­sions to buy al­co­hol,” Brown said.

Nas­son’s le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Wayne McGear, ob­jected to the state show­ing the footage in court or us­ing it as ev­i­dence on the ba­sis that his client dis­puted its au­then­tic­ity.

The court ruled that a trial within a trial be in­sti­tuted to es­tab­lish the au­then­tic­ity of the footage. Nas­son will re­main in cus­tody.

The case con­tin­ues.

‘I said ‘Vicky’ and turned her head and I just saw blood ... and her eyes were very wide open’ Chane Swanepoel


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