Ukrainian hiker murder: Blood sample for DNA still has to be taken from accused in prison

2019-12-04 17:57
Ukrainaian tourist Ivan Ivanov was stabbed to death on Chapman's Peak. (Facebook)

Ukrainaian tourist Ivan Ivanov was stabbed to death on Chapman's Peak. (Facebook)

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After a Cape Town case involving the murder of a Ukrainian hiker was postponed two months ago, while waiting for the results of a DNA report, it has now emerged that the sample taken from the inside of an accused's cheek was insufficient for analysis.

This was the news that greeted Sinaye Mposelwa, 23, and his two accused when they appeared, by audio-visual remand (AVR) from Pollsmoor Prison, in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

The three have already made admissions regarding the robbery and murder charges they face, following Ivan Ivanov's death while hiking near Chapman's Peak Drive on July 27, the court heard previously.

READ | Only DNA outstanding in investigation of Ukrainian hiker's murder

Prosecutor Nicky Konisi said a buccal sample had been taken, but not blood.

"It was insufficient for analysis," she told Magistrate Goolam Bawa.

She said the investigating officer, who arrived late in court, had hoped to have blood drawn on Wednesday, but was not aware that the accused were appearing via AVR.

He promised to go to Pollsmoor Prison on Thursday to obtain the blood sample.

The court previously heard that the DNA report was needed on a knife, believed to be the murder weapon, and on blood found on the clothing of the accused.

READ | Accused in Ukrainian hiker murder to remain behind bars

The post-mortem report and witness statements were complete.

Legal Aid lawyer Kyle Jason objected to a long postponement, pointing out that the accused had been in custody since July.

"The court is very much aware that DNA takes about six months. The matter will only be closer to being finalised in June," he said.

Konisi said they had worked hard to complete the rest of the investigation.

"The accused are facing life imprisonment should they be convicted."

Bawa said it was in the interests of justice to grant a postponement until February 5.

Mposelwa, 23, was the first to be arrested. He was allegedly caught fleeing from the scene in possession of Ivanov's backpack, and covered in blood.

He is also the only person who may be identified since his name is already in the public domain.

Hike at Chapman's Peak

The court has ordered that the identity of the other two accused and their pictures not be published before the identity parade is held, and it is not yet clear whether this has taken place.

Ivanov was taking a few rest days after a business trip to South Africa for Bureau Veritas, to train specialists in the certification of commodities. Although born in Odessa, Ukraine, he was based in Switzerland at the time of his death.

He had decided to start a hike at East Fort, which is metres away from the famous Chapman's Peak Drive, when he was stabbed to death.

Other people at the tourist spot raised the alarm.

One of the three accused had been out on parole at the time that Ivanov was killed. Another of the accused has also been linked to the robbery of a milk truck in Hout Bay in November 2018.

The crew had just delivered two crates of milk and accepted a R430 payment when three men, armed with knives and a firearm, approached them.

The driver handed over the cash, but the three men forced him to open the truck and made off with a red bag containing more of the day's payments.

Appearing by himself for the robbery charge on Wednesday, the accused heard that the State was trying to locate the case docket and that further investigation was required.

His case was postponed until January 16.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime
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