Footballer murdered

2011-02-28 00:00

SIMMERING tensions between residents of Ghost Town and Happy Valley in Woodlands — allegedly related to the local government elections — have been fuelled by the murder of a popular local football star at the weekend.

Anthesal “Kosie” Werner (21) from Ghost Town was stabbed to death on Saturday night at Ayanda’s Tavern 602 in an altercation over a jacket that belonged to him.

Werner allegedly spotted a man wearing his jacket and asked for it back. As it was handed back to him he was stabbed and died. Hostility between the groups is allegedly linked to political tension over who should be the local councillor for ward 32. Locals said friction began when Happy Valley residents refused to accept their candidate’s defeat to become the ward nominee.

They also blamed the Mountain Rise police station for the murder because police closed all the taverns in Ghost Town, but had not done the same in Happy Valley.

Werner was a star of local football team Celtics United FC, according to one of the team owners, who asked to remain unnamed.

“Werner was stabbed six times when he allegedly asked the guy who was wearing his jacket where he got it from and wanted it back,” he said. Apparently the suspect gave him back his jacket, but as he was putting it on, he was stabbed to death.

The owner said last week during a football match between Celtics United FC and New Stars FC (a team owned by the defeated candidate) one of his players was chased by members of the New Stars FC with pangas and big knives at Woodlands Stadium. “They threatened to attack the community members of Ghost Town. He described Werner as a kind person who was loved by the community. “He was such a talented young man who had big dreams for the future,” he said.

He said Werner had gone to the tavern to see his girlfriend, but he had not been drinking for weeks because he was concentrating on his football. “After the attack, young people from the area went to burn and vandalise the tavern,” he added.

Yvonne Werner, his mother, was too distraught yesterday to comment about the incident although her relatives said she would speak to the media today.

Ward councillor Patrick Moon said he was called at 3 am about the matter and proposed to meet the angry community members after church. “While coming from church I heard that community members were ready to confront the people of Happy Valley,” said Moon. He said people in Ghost Town were prepared to start a war to defend Werner. “There were already political tensions before the death of this young man,” he said. Moon persuaded the crowd to let the law take its course. “They said if the suspect is not arrested by today they will then take the law into their hands because they know the suspect.”

Happy Valley residents said they should not be accused of anything because the suspect is not from their area but lives at Site 11. “We are now afraid for our children because they go to school with these young people from Ghost Town and we are not happy that they are now targeting everyone in the community,” a woman said.

Police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan, confirmed the murder. “Our biggest problem is that we do not have eye witnesses who can give us details of what happened,” she said. She appealed to anyone with information to contact Colonel Chris Wiles on 079 500 1306 or 033 387 9600.

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