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‘Accused had items belonging to slain man’

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“There was also a cellphone on top of the side drawer which we confiscated. At that stage I was not certain whether the phone belonged to Carelse or the missing person

APPEARING: The three accused of kidnapping and killing Gershwin Swartz in court yesterday. Picture: Danie van der Lith

THE NORTHERN Cape High Court heard yesterday that various personal items belonging to slain Kimberley resident Gershwin Swartz were found in the possession of one of the men accused of his murder.

Police Sergeant Matome Matokolo testified yesterday that documents and other items, including a traffic fine, a copy of an identity document and two work clock-in cards, believed to have belonged to the deceased were found in Shaun Carelse’s bedroom.

Carelse and his two co-accused, Mamogelo Mcumi and Boitumelo Matlhola, are accused of kidnapping and murdering Swartz. The three accused are also facing an additional charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Swartz was killed in July last year after he was stabbed multiple times with a knife and hit over the head with a blunt item. His body was found in an open veld near the shooting range outside Kimberley about a week after he was reported missing.

Matokolo told the court yesterday that information led police to a house where Swartz’s VW Polo was found, a day after the 24-year-old was reported missing.

“On Thursday, July 14, 2016 we followed up on information gathered regarding a missing person, namely Swartz. The information led us to a house in Looney Street in New Park where the VW Polo of the missing person was found. A woman at the house, who introduced herself as Josentta, told us that she did not know the missing person but that the vehicle had been driven to the address by Carelse.

“She also indicated that she did not know where Carelse lived but that his girlfriend, Pinky, would be able to assist us in that regard,” Matokolo said.

He went on to say that later that night they found Pinky in town, who took them to Carelse’s house in Dunston Street.

“A woman, who we believed to be the mother of Carelse, opened the door for us. She showed us a room where Carelse was sleeping. It was between 1am and 2am. I asked him about the allegations that he was driving Swartz’s vehicle, which he did not deny.

“Carelse further indicated that he had left Swartz with two men named Jason and Kyle.

“We asked him if we could search his room and he gave us permission. We found a bag containing an identity document belonging to Martha Swartz, two Anglo American clock-in cards, a traffic fine issued to a Swartz, and a learner’s licence which also carried the surname Swartz.

“There was also a cellphone on top of the side drawer which we confiscated. At that stage I was not certain whether the phone belonged to Carelse or the missing person.

“Carelse was placed under arrest for abduction.”

Motokolo said that they also arrested Jason and Kyle later.

He added that they went to Swartz’s home to confirm whether the cellphone was indeed the property of the deceased.

Motokolo said that he returned to the house in New Park at about 12 noon on Friday, July 15 after Carelse suggested it.

He told the court that Josentta was again at the house and she gave him the car keys and radio face for the vehicle belonging to the deceased.

“The car keys and radio face were in a black refuse bag by the fireplace outside the house. It looked like these items had been hidden there. Josentta was also arrested after the items were confiscated,” Motokolo said.

The trial continues.