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A murder conspiracy case involving security company City Bowl Armed Response (CBAR) and two of its top bosses, one of whom is accused of plotting to kill the other, is back in the Cape Town Regional Court.
Grant Smith, former general manager of the company, was in the dock on Monday.
He is alleged to have provided R15 000 in 2008 to pay for the killing of his business partner Alan Kusevitsky, who had been investigating Smith for allegedly defrauding the company.
The case, which has been dragging on for years, has seen Smith’s ex-mistress and the former paramedical head of CBAR, Joanne Neethling, sentenced to three years in jail for her role in the saga.
On Monday, while Smith sat with his shoulders hunched in the dock, Kusevitsky sat upright in the public gallery listening to proceedings.
State witness Pauline de Villiers, who in December four years ago was the frontline receptionist for CBAR, testified that issuing company identification cards was one of her duties.
De Villiers said photographs of staff members would be taken on a digital camera belonging to Smith and her duty was to download the photographs onto her work computer.
Afterwards she would delete the pictures from the camera.
De Villiers testified that Smith had the password to her work computer and would therefore have been able to gain access to the photographs.
“He had to know the passwords to all the computers at the office.
“He was the boss,” she said.
A few of the photographs were exhibits in the case.
De Villiers testified that she had been told Smith had access to his employees’ files and folders that were stored on work computers.
The trial was expected to continue on Tuesday.
Smith and Neethling were both arrested in the first two weeks of December in 2008.
During a previous court appearance, investigating officer Mike Barkhuizen said it was alleged that Smith had financed the intended murder of Kusevitsky.
On October 1, 2008 Kusevitsky and Smith took out insurance policies on each other’s lives, Barkhuizen said.
If Smith died, Kusevitsky was to collect R7 million, and if Kusevitsky died, Smith would be paid R3m.
Barkhuizen also said that later that month, after receiving “doctored bank statements”, Kusevitsky had confronted Smith, who had then touched his firearm and threatened Kusevitsky.
Barkhuizen said on November 24, 2008 one of CBAR’s security guards warned Kusevitsky that Smith and Neethling were planning to murder him.
While investigating the claim, Barkhuizen had said Neethling had handed over money and a company photograph of Kusevitsky to an undercover police officer in a set-up sting operation.
In June 2010, Neethling was sentenced to three years in jail after entering into a plea bargain agreement.