A Galeshewe man who has already been found guilty of kidnapping, assaulting and murdering Gershwin Swartz described how the murder unfolded.
A GALESHEWE man, who was found guilty of kidnapping, assaulting and murdering Kimberley resident, Gershwin Swartz, was on Friday called as a State witness in the case against his three former co-accused.
Swartz, was found stabbed to death in a veld in 2016 after being kidnapped in a blue Polo vehicle.
Naledi Kgadiete, 28, was sentenced to 22 years imprisonment after entering into a plea agreement with the State, following his involvement in the kidnapping, assault and murder of Swartz.
Kgadiete on Friday took the witness stand in the Northern Cape High Court in the case against the three remaining accused – Shaun Carelse, Mamogelo Mocumi, and Boitumelo Matlola, who all face charges of kidnaping, assault and murder.
Kgadiete explained how he had spent the evening of July 11 2016 with Matlola and a friend (Malemo) at several locations in Kimberley “smoking mandrax and tik” and met with Carelse on their way to Squeeza’s Pub.
At around 4 am the four were refused entry to Squeeza’s as the pub was closing and made their way across the parking lot behind the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court, with Carelse and Matlola “leading the way”.
“There was a vehicle in the parking lot. Carelse and Matlola approached the car. The lights inside were on and we realised that there was someone inside, sleeping in the driver’s seat. Someone said that there was a phone inside and I saw it. Carelse asked the three of us if we did not have a stone to throw through the window.
According to Kgadiete, Carelse managed to find a stone and threw it against the window, cracking it.
“Carelse tried to kick the window, but I pushed him aside and kicked it, causing it to shatter. I tried to get to the phone, which was on the passenger seat, but the person inside woke up and tried to grab me.
“When I tried to break free, he saw that I was not the only person at the vehicle. When I turned to the three (accused), I saw them wielding knives. I ran away, but returned after they screamed at me to come back.
“When I got back to the car I saw Mamelo and Carels sitting in the front with the man and Matlola in the back,” Kgadiete testified, adding that he knew the three accused “very well”.
He told the court that they drove around until the early hours of the morning in the vehicle of the deceased.
“We drove to the Samaria Road where illegal miners were staying and could hear that something was wrong with one of the wheels.
“We turned into the informal settlement and parked the car between two trees. Matlola and Malelo asked the deceased for the spare wheel. Carelse and Malelo changed the tyre and Matlola remained in the car with the deceased. After the wheel was changed Malelo sat in the back with the deceased and Matlola, I was sitting in the front passenger seat and Carelse drove us to the township,” he said.
“We went to Nelson Kgwatwane’s shanty and found him with some friends. Malelo and I got out and went into the shanty, where people were smoking mandrax and dagga. Malelo and I smoked some of the dagga and mandrax while Carelse, the deceased and Matlola remained in the vehicle.
“Carelse later joined us in smoking dagga and mandrax, after which we left in the vehicle, leaving Malelo at the shanty. Carelse was driving,” he said.
Kgadiete then gave a detailed account of the events leading up to Swartz’s murder.
He said Carelse called Mocumi while they were driving and they picked him up close to the Pick * Pay before driving to a house in Soul City.
“Carelse, Mocumi and I washed the car while the deceased and Matlola went to sit inside an old car which was parked at the back of the house. After we were done we all drove to town,” he said.
Kgadiete said they, however, ran out of petrol on the Cape Town road.
“Carelse called a taxi driver and asked him for some money. The taxi driver told Carelse to drive to the Cape Town road as he was on his way to the mall with people. We ran out of petrol near the Elizabeth Conradie School and Carelse made some more calls. A taxi driver came and gave Carelse R30, which he used to buy airtime.
“He made some more calls and a person in another vehicle arrived and gave Carelse R50. Carelse and Mocumi got a container to buy petrol.
“I sat next to the road under a tree while the deceased and Matlola remained in the vehicle,” he said.
The matter was postponed with Kgadiete expected to continue with his testimony.