Cape Town Uber driver recalls night of fatal assault on client

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Carl Schoombie (Supplied)
Carl Schoombie (Supplied)

Cape Town - An Uber driver on Tuesday identified Brent Henry and Juane Jacobs as the men who beat him and a client up after cornering his car in a cul-de-sac in 2015.

Testifying for the State in the Western Cape High Court, Jean-Piere Muroncwa pointed at the two, who are on trial for murder.

"They were just punching him," he said.

Carl Schoombie died of severe injuries after the two men apparently accused him of starting trouble at the Tiger Tiger nightclub in November 2015.

The Stellenbosch University graduate and three friends were on their way home from a Claremont nightclub when he was dragged from the Uber taxi and beaten. He was admitted to hospital in a coma, where he died a few days later.

READ: 'That will teach you not to f*** with us' - witness recalls words of Carl Schoombie's killer

Muroncwa said the trouble started at the club after the four got into his car.

"Someone came and knocked on the back window on the left hand side. They didn’t know him so they told me to start and move on," the driver said through an interpreter.

They left the club. A car behind them was driving fast and overtook their car before blocking them off and forcing them to stop. Two men jumped out and tried to open the doors, but they were locked.

"One of them said that if we don’t open, he will shoot us," he said. He identified Henry as the man who said this.

'Pulled me out of the car'

Muroncwa reversed and tried getting past the other car. He recalled Jacobs opening his door to block him and his car scratched their door.

He sped off and the car followed. The vehicle blocked them off in another cul-de-sac.

Muroncwa said he turned to his clients. "I told them that if there is something they did wrong in the club, the best way is to go up and apologise."

He said Henry threatened to shoot them again if they did not get out the car. He recalled Schoombie getting out of the back.

"He said I am going to apologise, but we didn’t commit any wrong to them."

At this point, Jacobs started beating Schoombie, he said. Muroncwa took out his phone and tried to look for the police’s number.

"All of a sudden, someone [Henry] came and pulled me out of the car."

He looked back at the car and nobody was inside. The Uber driver held onto the steering wheel, to no avail. His phone fell to the ground and broke.

'I could hear people screaming'

Henry apparently left Muroncwa on the road and joined Jacobs. Muroncwa put his phone back together, but it did not work. He saw a woman nearby and asked her to phone the police.

"When I saw that they were beating Carl and it was really bad, I started knocking at every house to ask people to come out. But people were not coming out."

He saw Schoombie being punched, but did not look for long because he was scared. After trying to get assistance, he returned to stand at his car.

"Accused number 2 [Jacobs] came to where I was standing and started beating me.

"Before I ran, he just punched me here." He put a fist against his left ear and temple.

He lost consciousness. When he came to, he fumbled around trying to get back to his car.

"I couldn’t see, but I could hear people screaming, asking for help."

As the assailants' black car drove off, he tried opening his eyes to see the registration number, but said he could not recall it.

The trial continues.

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