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‘Accused joked about murder’

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Swartz was last seen alive in Galeshewe when he was on his way to Bloemanda with a group of friends in his blue VW Polo

APPEARED: Shaun Carelse, Mamogelo Mocumi and Boitumelo Matlhola with their legal representatives at the Northern Cape High Court yesterday.

A WITNESS in the trial of three men accused of the brutal murder of Kimberley resident Gershwin Swartz told the court yesterday how one of the accused had jokingly told him about the alleged killing.

The accused, Shaun Carelse, 24, Mamogelo Mocumi, 29, and Boitumelo Matlhola, 20, are facing charges of murder, robbery and kidnapping after the body of Swartz was found just days after he was reported missing on July 13, 2016.

Swartz’s body was found in a veld on July 16, 2016 after police and members of neighbourhood watch and Wanya Tsotsi launched an intensive search following the 24-year-old’s disappearance earlier that week.

His body was found near to the shooting range outside Kimberley, with close to 10 stab wounds.

Swartz, a Beaconsfield resident, was last seen alive in Galeshewe when he was on his way to Bloemanda with a group of friends in his blue VW Polo.

His car was found at a house in Looney Street in New Park the day before the discovery of his body.

Kgomotso Moeiti yesterday testified in the Northern Cape High Court that he saw Carelse driving the Polo on Wednesday, July 13, 2016.

Moeiti said that Carelse was accompanied by a friend, named Naledi, and that the two had come to his uncle’s house in Dunston Street.

Moeiti said that he got into the vehicle as he wanted a lift to town.

He said that one of the men said that they were running low on petrol and that they eventually got stuck near Santa Square.

Moeiti said that he accompanied Carelse to a friend in Santa Square where he (Carelse) got R50 for petrol. Naledi remained in the car.

Moeiti said that while they were putting in petrol, he asked Carelse who the car belonged to.

“Shaun told me the car belonged to Gershwin. I did not ask who Gershwin was. Shaun then jokingly said that the people he was with were afraid to do what he did. I got the impression that they had killed Gershwin but treated that information in the same manner that he gave it to me,” Moeiti told the court.

He went on to say that they had then driven to a house in New Park where they smoked tik.

Moeiti identified the house, which was the same house where Swartz’ Polo was recovered, from a photo album.

“Shaun went to the house and knocked. A lady, named Josentta, opened the door. There was also another woman, who was a friend of Josentta, at the house. We smoked tik at the house and later went to Squeeza’s.” Moeiti said that the men broke into a car that was parked near Squeeza’s.

“Naledi saw a laptop in the back of the car. They broke into the car and took the laptop, which they later sold to a Nigerian. The Nigerian paid for the laptop with drugs and money. We then headed back to the house in New Park where we again smoked drugs until sunrise,” he said.

Moeiti’s uncle, Montgomery Paulus, told the court that he had seen the accused in the company of an unknown man inside the Polo a few days earlier near the gates of Elizabeth Conradie School.

Paulus said that he had been working at a construction site at the school when he saw the accused in the car.

“I saw a blue Polo parked at the gates of the school. Two men, Naledi and Tim (Matlhola), were inside the car with an unknown coloured man. Naledi asked for a cigarette and I said I did not have any and continued walking with some colleagues of mine.

“At the parking area of the Spar, I met Shaun and Popeye (Mocumi), who also asked for a cigarette. I told them that I had none. They had a tyre with them which they loaded into the Polo.

“I saw a Tiida standing next to the Polo but nobody from either of the cars got out of the vehicles and I also couldn’t hear whether the men in either of the cars had a conversation.”

Paulus said that he later saw a picture of the Polo and the deceased in the DFA on July 19, 2016.

“I was at work when I saw the blue Polo in the newspaper. I also saw the unknown coloured man (the deceased) in the paper. I did not contact the police. However, I heard from my neighbours that the police were looking for me.”

Constable Melissa Jacobs, who is a fingerprint investigator, told the court that several items of clothing were inside the Polo found in New Park. Jacobs said that several fingerprints and other prints were also found on the car during the investigation.

She added that an identity document belonging to a person named Naledi was also found inside the vehicle.

The trial continues.