Croeser set to take stand

2011-09-07 00:00

MURDER accused Morné Croeser (34) is expected to take the witness stand on Friday, September 16, to explain what happened the night his wife, Erika, was stabbed 14 times in their home at Albert Falls.

According to suggestions put to state witnesses in cross-examination and statements by Croeser after the murder, he will claim that he and his wife were both stabbed by an intruder.

Croeser was found kneeling next to his wife’s body in an emotional state with the blade of a long knife embedded in his stomach.

A paramedic pulled the bent knife out and Croeser underwent surgery to confirm that no vital organs were injured.

Croeser’s advocate, Murray Pitman, yesterday suggested to Captain Marlon Smith of the Mountain Rise dog unit that evidence pointing to Croeser’s innocence was not properly investigated.

His submission followed evidence by Smith that no photographs were taken of alleged footprints alongside a railway line running through the Albert Falls reserve not far from the Croeser home, as well as a sandy footprint in the garden and an alleged track leading through a burnt piece of ground to a clump of trees near the couple’s home.

Smith denied that he was ever shown a track across sooty grass or that he was told of a “black smudge” on a wall in the passage.

Pitman also suggested that no proper investigation was ever carried out into a silver padlock cut with bolt cutters that was found under some plants 1,2 metres from the house.

Smith confirmed he and other policemen were shown footprints next to the railway line and one in the garden by Croeser’s brother-in-law on August 30.

Smith said there were several prints next to the railway line leading both “up and down” a footpath and said they could have belonged to anyone. They did not lead to the house.

The sandy print in the garden was indistinct and there were no identifiable marks, he said.

Nokuthula Manda, who worked for the Croesers, testified on Monday that two combination padlocks used to lock the back door went missing during the week of the murder.

She also testified she had never seen the knife used to kill Erika in the house.

Warrant Officer Oliver Knott said he dusted the Croeser house for fingerprints after the murder, but found no unusual prints.

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