Bronn wanted to avoid scandal: witnessComment on this story
Cape Town - Slain nightclub owner Bruno Bronn did not report his sexual partner's harassment to police because he did not want a scandal, his ex-bartender and friend told the Western Cape High Court.
“He didn't want a scandal. As a businessman, as a club owner, you have staff, you don't want noise,” Bashar Rihawi said.
He had told the court he often reprimanded club bouncer Frederick Willem John Coetzer for harassing Bronn, who did not want to continue their relationship.
Rihawi said he had even tried convincing Bronn to report him to the police.
Lawyer Patrick Scott, for Coetzer, asked him why Bronn never went to the police if he was so scared.
Rihawi replied that they all lived nearby and that Bronn chose to phone them instead whenever he had trouble.
“He was trying to be polite and not make any noise.”
Coetzer, Fareez Allie and Achmat Toffa have pleaded not guilty to killing Bronn at his Green Point home on February 7, 2012. They have also pleaded not guilty to using a firearm to rob Bronn of his luxury car and other items, including a laptop.
Rihawi told the court that when he and his ex-boyfriend visited Bronn's home a few days before his death, they witnessed an argument between Bronn and Coetzer.
He said Coetzer had jumped over the wall and onto the property, something he apparently did often.
He could not remember everything that was said but remembered Bronn shouting: “Why did you jump?” and “Get out of my house”.
“(He said) he didn't want him in his space and he must just move on. He didn't want him to be nearby. He doesn't want him to be a part of his life,” Rihawi said.
Bronn called for a taxi and Coetzer said he needed R50 to pay for transport.
“I gave him the money (from Bronn), expecting him to leave, but then he came back.”
He said Coetzer wanted his keys and a bag of clothes but Rihawi could not find it in the garage.
Rihawi told Coetzer not to irritate his friend but it seemed as though he did not care.
“(He was) careless because it wasn't the first time arguing with him about Bruno.”
The court heard that Coetzer had allegedly taken a pair of gold cufflinks, a watch and traveller's cheques from Bronn's safe. Bronn had desperately tried to get them back.
“John re-sold the cheques back to him,” Rihawi said.
A new witness was expected to be called when the trial resumes on Monday.