Taxi driver testifies about movements of Montecasino murder accused

2015-04-21 14:24
JP Malan (Adam Wakefield, News24)

JP Malan (Adam Wakefield, News24)

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Johannesburg - A taxi driver, whose services were used by murder accused JP Malan and former stripper Maruschka Robinson, testified about their whereabouts in court on Tuesday.

The pair stand accused of killing Dustan Blom, whose body was found in the boot of his car at Montecasino in Johannesburg in September 2013.

The taxi driver, who was granted a request by Judge Delize Smith that his name not be published, told the South Gauteng High Court sitting at the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court of Malan and Robinson's movements between September 18 and September 20.

Giving testimony through an interpreter, the taxi driver said Robinson had used his services over a period of some months prior to September 18.

He said sometimes, over that period when picking up Robinson, Malan was also with her.

On September 18, he told the court that he provided services to Malan after receiving a phone call from Robinson.

"I was called by accused number one, Maruchska... It was around eight in the morning," he said.

"She informed me that JP wants my services for the day."


There was apparently a discussion over payment, with the driver expected to ferry Malan around that day. The driver did not have Malan's number, which was then sent to him by Robinson. She also told the driver where he could find Malan in Randburg.

He found Malan by himself at a guesthouse at 231 Surrey Avenue, around 10:00.

"He said we should go to Maruschka's house, and then there was a stage where he was calling somebody and we had to wait for that person at an Engen garage," the taxi driver said.

They then had to drive to another garage in Strydom Park along Malibongwe Drive where they picked up a "coloured guy", but the driver said he did not hear his name.

"At this stage, I thought we were going to Maruschka's house, but he told me to park at another Caltex garage, which I did," the driver said.

The garage where he stopped was in Northwold along Malibongwe Drive.

"I stopped at the Caltex garage, then the coloured guy alighted from the vehicle and then went towards the ATM, then he came back, then they had a chat with JP," he said.

"Then JP also went to the machine. When JP came back, he went into the car and he made some utterances that it was the wrong pin."

‘What happened?’

The driver did see Malan give the coloured man the card before the man went to the ATM.

The driver then took them to Robinson's house, knowing where it was. He drove into the premises after the gate was opened. There was a second gate near the house, which was also open, with a Nissan parked outside. He described it as "huge, it's a big Nissan car", facing towards the house.

Prosecutor Zaais Van Zyl asked the driver: "What happened after you stopped?"

The driver replied: "They alighted from the vehicle, the two of them, and they went into the house and approximately after 10 minutes the coloured man came back."

The driver said they arrived at the house between 11:00 and noon, with Malan also returning around five minutes after the coloured man had come back to the car.

Malan then asked him to take him back to where he had fetched him, at 231 Surrey Avenue. On the journey, Malan and the coloured man had a discussion, but the driver did not know what was said as he did not understand Afrikaans.

Asked about the emotional state of both men at the time, the driver said he noticed no difference from when he picked them up to after they left Robinson's house.

Dropped off

After he dropped Malan off, the driver dropped the coloured man at Fontainebleau. He then went to Brightwater Commons in Randburg to get food, where Malan called him and said he was waiting for someone and that he would call them back to where he was.

He later received a call and went back to 231 Surrey Street, where he found another white male, who told him to take him to the Randburg Inn, which he did.

"I took that boy there and that boy informed me that I should wait for him. Then on his return, we drove back to where they were [231 Surrey Avenue]," he said.

"Then that boy left. From there JP told me that I should wait for him and from there I took JP to Maruschka" around 14:00.

At that point, he dropped him off at the gate, and had no further dealings with either Malan or Robinson that day.

The next day, September 19 2013, the driver said he received a call from Robinson to pick her up at her home around 18:00 in the evening.

When he arrived at the gate, he found Robinson and Malan together. He then took both of them to 231 Surrey Avenue.

Black bag

Asked by Van Zyl whether they had any baggage with them, he said Robinson had a black refuse bag with her. He said there was something inside the bag, but he did not know what.

He then dropped them off again at 231 Surrey Avenue, the last he saw them that day.

On Monday, the court heard of a series of text messages between Robinson and Malan around the time of Blom's disappearance.

The messages, extracted by police cybercrime specialist Lucy Langeveldt, form part of a 1 800-page trail of clues in SMS-slang that possibly shed further light on the events of the early morning of September 18, when Blom died.

"He is going to get cops here. Come here so we can g him up'', read one message on September 18 2013, at 04:17 UTC time, from murder-accused Maruschka Robinson to JP Malan which was read into the court record by Langeveldt, following questioning by prosecutor Steven Rubin.

UTC time is the old Greenwich Mean Time and two hours need to be added to work out the time in South Africa, better known as "Harare time". So the message would have been sent at 06:17 in the morning in South Africa.


"G" has already come up in court before as the drug Gamma Hydroxybutyrate, which depresses the central nervous system.

In a previous testimony, it has been one of the items in a "party pack'' of drugs Malan and Robinson carried around, and allegedly used to drug Blom so that they could draw money from his bank account.

Another read: "You think he is awake?? Did you give him g?"

The messages seemed to indicate concern over whether Blom had already left for overseas after a yoga instructor had invited him to visit.

The instructor had been worried about him because he was drinking heavily after his wife had died in childbirth and Robinson and Malan had been arranging the trip for him.

Another message from Robinson to Malan read: ''Baby just make sure we get the $$ [dollars] pls. Love you. Xx."


At 10:53 (12:53 SA time) a message from Malan's phone asked that Robinson go and "check for more passwords".

The two also ran out of airtime from time to time, with a few "please call me" messages also showing up in the records.

Malan and Robinson have pleaded not guilty to killing Blom and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Robinson did plead guilty to five counts of fraud for using Blom's bankcard to draw money, but pleaded not guilty to attempting to defeat the ends of justice in regards to abandoning his body in his car at Montecasino.

Malan pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud, attempting to defeat the ends of justice and five counts of being in possession of fake ID documents.

Blom's body was discovered in his car on September 22, 2013 at the popular casino and entertainment venue when security guards investigated a foul smell coming from the car.

Robinson was arrested on September 24, 2013, and Malan on September 26, 2013.

Also on Monday, pathologist Dr Shirley Moeng testified that the post-mortem results showed that Blom died of asphyxiation. She could not say whether it was because of strangulation.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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