Elsies River massacre: 'The wrong people were arrested', says accused

2019-09-27 14:04
Goodwood Magistrate's Court (Jenni Evans, News24)

Goodwood Magistrate's Court (Jenni Evans, News24)

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"I really didn't do it," said Rowan Schuurman as he went back to jail after appearing in the Goodwood Magistrate's Court, where he was charged with the murder of three children and a man at Clarkes Estate in Elsies River, Cape Town. 

He and his co-accused Peter Nokewes looked distraught as they stood in the dock on Friday, also accused of seriously wounding two women in the shooting on September 17. 

Nokewes raised his hand saying in Afrikaans: "I've got something to say," as Schuurman wiped tears with his T-shirt and a jersey in his hand. 

Magistrate Ricardo Phillips boomed at him: "No sir. Don't silence me. You have a lawyer." 

Advocate Kaylin Engelbrecht asked for permission to approach him and returned to deliver his message. 

"He's just concerned that the wrong people were arrested," said Engelbrecht on Nokewes's behalf. 

Phillips explained to him that the State and prosecutor believed they had a case against them. 

They are accused of shooting Adrian "AJ" Alexander, 12, Malcolm Junior "MJ" Samuels, 12, Vineto Africa, 19; and Toslin Samuels, 10, while they were sleeping. 

READ: Elsies River murders: Residents, children march on Heritage Day after violence spike

Bianca Alexander and her friend, Mandy Samuels, were also shot but survived.  

Police stood against both court doors to guard them, and once the benches were full nobody else was allowed into the public gallery. 

Phillips flicked through the paperwork in front of him and noted that Nokewes had a prior conviction, and wanted to know what it was for. 

His lawyer approached him again, and Nokewes's expression changed from upset to resigned. 

The court heard that when he was arrested, he was on parole, with four years of it left. 

News24 understands that he received a 10-year sentence in 2012 for possession of a firearm and ammunition in 2010. 

Their case was postponed to October 18 for Schuurman to apply for bail and both were escorted back down the steps to be taken back to remand prison. 

As Schuurman insisted on his innocence to the public gallery while walking down the steps, friends put their fingers on their lips, telling him to be quiet, and left quickly, some with red eyes from crying. 

Read more on:    cape town  |  courts  |  crime

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