Bronx murder State witness grilled

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INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Three men accused of the murder of Bronx Night Club owner, Bruno Bronn. In pic, Achmat Toffa, Fareez Allie and Johannes Coetzer appear at the Cape High Court. Photo: Tracey Adams

Cape Town - A State witness in the murder trial of Bruno Bronn's alleged killers considers himself a victim of circumstances, the Western Cape High Court heard on Thursday.

Kurt Erispe, one of the original four suspects arrested for the gay Cape Town night club owner's murder, revealed this as he was being cross-examined.

He testified against Frederick Willem John Coetzer, Fareez Allie and Achmat Toffa, who have pleaded not guilty to charges of pre-meditated murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances. Bronn owned the Bronx night club.

Both charges carry prescribed minimum sentences - life for the murder and 15 years for the robbery.

Erispe was an inspector working in his mother’s security firm. The night of Bronn’s death on February 6 last year, he drove the three accused around, smoking the drugs tik and buttons, instead of patrolling sites in Sea Point and Clifton.

Erispe’s testified that on the night of the murder, Toffa asked him to fetch Coetzer in Goodwood, in Cape Town’s northern suburbs, and to take him to an address in Sea Point, which turned out to be Bronn’s residence.

Erispe did so, with Toffa accompanying him, and en route they fetched Allie at his Maitland home. Erispe dropped Coetzer near the address and, later, when they returned to fetch Coetzer, Coetzer asked them to come into the house.

Erispe declined, while the others went in. As Erispe waited for their return, he “happened to look up” to see a BMW speeding away. Soon afterwards, Allie and Toffa returned to Erispe's patrol car.

Questioned by Arno Nell, for Allie, Erispe agreed that the circumstances in which he, Allie and Toffa had found themselves that night were suspicious.

Nell said Allie had made a statement to the police after his arrest on February 11 that year, and that the statement was similar to a confession.

Allie claimed he had been asked to accompany Erispe and Toffa “as a gamble”, as they took Coetzer to the Sea Point address.

After dropping Coetzer they had refuelled the vehicle, and Allie got a call from Coetzer asking them to fetch him again. On arrival at the Bronn home, Coetzer beckoned them from the gate to come inside.

Allie and Toffa were aware that Coetzer had been in a relationship with Bronn, and went in.

Erispe said he did not know about the relationship. In the house, Allie asked where Bronn was, and Coetzer replied that he was sleeping. Allie peered into Bronn’s room and saw him lying on the floor. They all left the house immediately. Coetzer sped away in Bronn’s BMW.

Back at Toffa’s flat, Coetzer asked Toffa if he had any tik, and Toffa asked Coetzer if he had any money. Coetzer said he had none, but he had Bronn's cellphone to exchange for tik.

They went to an address in Maitland where they bought tik and buttons. As they smoked the tik in Toffa’s room, Allie asked Coetzer who the man was he had seen lying on the floor at the Bronn home.

Coetzer replied: “Don’t worry”.

The trial continues on Monday.

Sapa


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