Franziska’s alleged killer 'joked about stealing money' after being refused loan

2017-05-10 17:43
Franziska Blöchliger. (Supplied to Netwerk24)

Franziska Blöchliger. (Supplied to Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - The man accused of raping, robbing and killing Franziska Blöchliger asked his farm manager for a loan the day of the murder and then joked about having to get the money elsewhere, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

Craig Harris, of the Klein Constantia vineyards, said Howard Oliver arrived at work late on March 7, 2016.

Testifying for the State, he said Oliver, 28, had asked for a R300 loan so he could pay his child's crèche but he could not give it to him.

"He was obviously not very happy with me and said he would have to go and look for a loan," he said.

"His final words, I thought it was a joke... he said in Afrikaans he will have to go and rob somebody for the money."

Under cross-examination, he corrected himself when his statement was read back to him and said Oliver had spoken about stealing money.

READ: Franziska's parents relive day she was killed at Tokai Forest

The farm workers were paid fortnightly.

On Wednesday morning, Oliver pleaded not guilty to raping and killing the teen.

He said in a plea explanation that he had only robbed her of her ring and phone in the forest, after smoking Mandrax.

Harris said he had no issues with Oliver and thought of him as a young, fit and energetic man who occasionally arrived late.

On the day of the murder, he spotted Oliver walking by himself toward Steenberg Village in the afternoon and they nodded at each other.

He had on his work-issue pants, a bag and possibly a beanie.

Defence lawyer Ken Klopper said his client did not wear those overalls.

He also denied saying anything about robbing or stealing money, which would be a strange thing to say to an employer.

Harris agreed it was strange and that is why he did not take the comment literally.

Warrant Officer Laurentian September, of Kirstenhof police station, was the first to respond to a missing person report.

He told the court he met the teen's father and looked for the girl with two constables.

When a community member found the body, he secured the scene and requested a detective and photographer.

Two days later, he collected a piece of ceiling with blood on it as evidence.

‘Dangerous phone’

Also called to testify was Westlake resident Tracy Daniels, who knew Oliver from when he was a boy.

She said she saw him in Westlake that afternoon, near the taxis.

He shouted to Markie, a guy who cleaned the vehicles, that he had a dangerous phone that he needed to change.

She noted that the knees of his work pants were dirty and he was carrying a 90cm long pipe.

Klopper put it to her that Oliver never shouted those words or wore those pants.

She maintained she heard what she heard and saw what she saw.

The trial resumes on Thursday.

Read more on:    franziska blöchliger  |  cape town  |  crime

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