Howard Oliver ‘looked unwell’ hours after Tokai Forest murder

2017-05-11 17:29
Franziska Blöchliger. (Supplied to Netwerk24)

Franziska Blöchliger. (Supplied to Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - Howard Oliver was twitchy and looked worried a few hours after 16-year-old Franziska Blöchliger’s body was found at Tokai Forest, the Western Cape High Court heard on Thursday.

Andre van Rooyen, a State witness, said he and Howard Oliver worked together at the Klein Constantia vineyards last year.

On March 7, 2016, the day of the murder, he said Oliver was late for work.

He saw Oliver go to the farm manager’s office and then leave after lunch.

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That night, he received two calls from Oliver but did not recognise his number the first time around.

After the second call, they met and he was given money to buy Mandrax. They went to a soccer field.

“He did not look well. He looked twitchy,” he said in Afrikaans.

They smoked a mixture of Mandrax and Dagga. After taking a drag, Oliver seemed alert and opened up.

“He said this thing is going to bother him. He did not say what was bothering him.”

Van Rooyen left without answers.

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The next day, he said Oliver was on time for work and they travelled to the vineyard together on the lorry.

Everyone was talking about the murder in the forest on the lorry.

Prosecutor Lenro Badenhorst asked if they had smoked together before.

Van Rooyen said it was an isolated incident and he never found out what was bothering his colleague.

Under cross-examination, lawyer Ken Klopper asked why he thought his client seemed twitchy.

He replied that he was acting differently and seemed worried.

As with other witnesses, Klopper put it to him that Oliver was not wearing his khaki work issue pants that day.

Van Rooyen replied that he had seen him with those pants.

On Monday, Oliver pleaded not guilty to raping and killing Blöchliger, saying he had only robbed her of her ring and phone in the forest, after smoking Mandrax.

The State did not accept his admission of the robbery because it believed it was not comprehensive. The court had recommended Oliver enter a plea of not guilty on that charge.

The trial continues.

Read more on:    franziska ­blöchliger  |  town  |  cape  |  crime

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