Monday, September 20, 2010

Sister contradicts alleged killer's alibi

August 20 2010 at 07:20AM Get IOL on your
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By Karen Breyenbach Justice Writer

A suspected driveway robber and murderer's claims that his fingerprints must have found their way on to the cars of two alleged victims because he may have sold them flowers at his kerbside stall, were dealt blows by two witnesses on Thursday.

Although Gershwin Hartzenberg's sister testified in his defence in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday, she unwittingly contradicted him on central aspects of his evidence.

Christine Scout was called to verify that her brother was in her care while out on bail - and home on the nights two Southern Suburbs women were robbed in their driveways in March and April of 2008.
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Hartzenberg said he had moved in with Scout and her family in Grassy Park when he was released on bail in February, 2008.

She, however, told the court that Hartzenberg had moved in after their brother's death in July - months later.

She later claimed to remember that Hartzenberg was home on the night of April 13, 2008, when Jane van Zyl was shot and killed in her Bergvliet driveway, because they would have visited their brother's grave that day. But that was two months before he died. To clarify, she claimed to have become confused by the dates.

Scout also contradicted her brother on whether he had his own room, how long he had dated his girlfriend, whether friends visited him at home and even what lunch she had prepared on April 13.

Hartzenberg's evidence of possibly selling flowers to Van Zyl and touching her car while depositing them on the back seat, was also challenged when the court called back to the stand her widower, Smiley van Zyl.

Van Zyl said he was the one who bought flowers every week, mostly from a retailer. His wife would not have bought flowers from a street vendor. Besides that, they had not had any flowers in the house the week before her robbery and murder.

A police fingerprint expert said Hartzenberg's prints on Van Zyl's car were fresh, because they reacted well to the fingerprint powder.

Hartzenberg's employer, Abduragmaan Williams, then testified that Hartzenberg sometimes sold fruit at the side of the road, too.

But Smiley van Zyl said his wife bought their fruit and vegetables at supermarkets, not from street vendors, whose produce baked in the sun all day.

Newlands resident Linda Heeger was also robbed, but left uninjured outside her house late on March 13, 2008.

The state intended to call back Heeger,too, but she is on holiday abroad until September.

The case was postponed to September 6.

This article was originally published on page 4 of Cape Times on August 20, 2010

Comments by Sonny

Pity there is no Death Sentence in SA!

No wonder murder and robbery is royal sports!

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