State seeks clarity from Muay Thai pro on Schoombie assault

2017-03-09 20:17
Carl Schoombie (Supplied)

Carl Schoombie (Supplied)

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Cape Town - A Muay Thai professional was called as a surprise witness in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday, in the trial of Carl Schoombie's alleged killers.

Ian Zunckel was asked to offer insight into the fighting style that might have been used in the Stellenbosch graduate's fatal assault.

Prosecutor Christopher Burke said the people who witnessed the assault that night had testified about how mostly elbows and knees were used.

Muay Thai is a combat sport from Thailand in which fighters make use of fists, elbows, knees, and shins.

The defence lawyers for his alleged killers, Brent Henry and Juane Jacobs, were taken aback when the State called Zunckel to the stand.

"This is really quite ridiculous. We were never advised in advance. We have no statements from this witness," lawyer William Booth said after jumping up.

"This is not the way that trials are conducted. Suddenly this witness pops out the woodwork. I heavily object."

Judge Robert Henney said it would be best for investigating officer, Sergeant Marlon Marais, to first take a proper statement from Zunckel.

The defence could then read the statement and prepare themselves for his testimony. Zunckel was asked to return on Monday.

Schoombie died after the two men apparently accused him of starting trouble at the Tiger Tiger nightclub in November 2015, before assaulting him.

'He beat a guy up badly'

He and three friends were on their way home from the Claremont nightclub in an Uber taxi when he was beaten in a cul-de-sac. He was admitted to hospital in a coma and died a few days later.

Schoombie's brain injuries were so severe that a pathologist testified that they were usually only seen in people killed in car accidents.

He said even blows delivered in a boxing ring would rarely be sufficient to cause the types of injuries he saw because of the force required.

Marais had testified that Henry told him that Jacobs did Muay Thai boxing.

"He also mentioned that before they went to the club, they were sitting at Juane's place where Juane was bragging to him about Muay Thai boxing. He had a fight in Thailand where he got into trouble and he was arrested. He beat a guy up badly," he testified previously.

Marais said that when he spoke to Jacobs after he was arrested, he said Henry had spoken the truth when he mentioned the boxing.

The court ruled that this evidence was not admissible because it amounted to hearsay, unless the accused testified to this effect.

Henney said he would like to have all the evidence wrapped up by the end of next week.

He hoped to deliver judgment on April 5.

Read more on:    carl schoombie  |  cape town  |  crime

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