Man pleads not guilty to raping, killing teen in Tokai Forest

2017-05-10 11:20
Franziska Blöchliger. (Supplied to Netwerk24)

Franziska Blöchliger. (Supplied to Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - The man charged with raping and killing teenager Franziska Blöchliger pleaded not guilty on Wednesday, but admitted he had robbed her.

Reading out the charges, prosecutor Lenro Badenhorst said Howard Oliver allegedly raped the 16-year-old on March 7, 2016 in the Tokai Forest.

Oliver allegedly inflicted grievous bodily harm, stole her iPhone, Apple Watch, gold ring, earrings and earphones, and then killed her.

The State believed she died after being suffocated by pressing her face into the ground and/or by manual strangulation/throttling.

Oliver, 28, presented his plea in Afrikaans in the Western Cape High Court.

Read out by his lawyer Ken Klopper, he denied his involvement in all but the robbery with aggravating circumstances.


Oliver said that on the day, he finished work and decided to rob someone. He smoked a Mandrax pill and started walking home on a path through the bushes.

The teenager jogged around a corner, wearing earphones and a phone on her arm. When she came closer, he grabbed her from behind.

She was strong and he gripped her around the neck, causing her to lose consciousness. He said she was still breathing.

He dragged her by the arms to the bush and then took her phone and ring.

He did not take her watch because he could not find it and she did not have earrings.

"She lay on her side and I fastened her wrists with a shoelace," he said.

He took another shoelace and put it around her mouth. Her pants were pulled down but her underwear was not removed.

Oliver then left the scene. He said someone in Pollsmoor Prison later told him he had also been at the scene and had kept watch for him.

Badenhorst said the State would not accept the guilty plea for the robbery because not all items were included.

It also did not accept what was said in prison because it amounted to hearsay unless the inmate came to testify.

After listening to the submissions, Judge Kate Savage recommended that the accused enter a plea of not guilty on the robbery charge.

Oliver, a married father of two, was the only accused still facing the rape and murder charges. Jonathan Jonas, and two others were originally charged alongside him.

Blöchliger was found naked and on her knees, with her neck twisted into an unnatural position.

According to police, a bra and T-shirt had been used to strangle her. One of her shoelaces was tied around her neck. She was bleeding from the face and genitals.

Read more on:    franziska blöchliger  |  cape town  |  crime

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