Bronn’s phone exchanged for drugs

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IOL news feb 14 ct Bronx Suspects 0532 (23028344) CAPE TIMES Kurt Erispe and Fareez Allie (centre) try to hide their faces from the media as they leave Cape Town Magistrates Court after a brief appearance on charges of murdering Bronx owner, Bruno Bronn. Photo: Jeffrey Abrahams

Less than an hour after gay club owner Bruno Bronn was murdered, three men arrived at a drug den in his car and exchanged his cellphone and a collection of R5 coins for tik, the Cape Town Magistrate's Court heard on Wednesday.

Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Mervyn Bezuidenhout was tesifying in a bail application brought by Fareez Allie, 29.

A second accused, Kurt Erispe was released on R10,000 bail late last month. State advocate Quenton Appels did not oppose bail, because he did not consider Erispe a flight risk.

The State is opposing Allie's application before Magistrate Jasthree Steyn on the grounds that the case is serious, that there is a strong case against him and his three co-accused, and that he faces possible life imprisonment if found guilty.

The other two accused are John Frederick Coetzee, who abandoned his application for bail, and Achmat Toffa, 35.

Bronn was found dead in his Seapoint flat on the morning of February 7.

Bezuidenhout told the court that on the night of the murder a neighbour heard Bronn scream for help and soon afterwards heard a car speed away from his home.

He said it would take weeks to finalise the investigation. He was still waiting for Allie's family to bring him the clothing Allie wore that night.

Bezuidenhout handed the court a petition with the signatures of 363 people who feared for their safety if any of the accused were released.

Allie alleged in an affidavit that he had received no food for a number of days after he was detained, and that he was not allowed visits from his family or to make any phone calls.

Bezuidenhout called Allie a blatant liar.

The hearing continues on March 16. - Sapa

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