Gumtree case: Facebook evidence denied

Cape Town - One of the four men accused of killing Olwyn Cowley denies having viewed Cowley’s Facebook profile the week before he was shot in the BMW he was trying to sell.

Jason Elias said he did not google Cowley’s Facebook profile, despite evidence taken from computerware confiscated from Elias’s house showing hits to Cowley’s Facebook page on August 22, 2012.

Three of the four men accused of killing Olwyn Cowley. Picture: Henk Kruger. Credit: CAPE ARGUS

Cowley was murdered on August 30 after advertising his car on the Gumtree website.

Elias was being questioned in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday by advocate Mornay Calitz for co-accused Rameez Felix. It was Elias’s third day in the witness box.

Elias, Felix, Shawaal Staggie and Soegbudien Abvajee have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and aggravated robbery.

Cowley was shot while taking the four men on a test drive in his BMW.

Calitz retraced events leading to Cowley’s death.

Elias claimed he had seen the Gumtree advert only after speaking to Staggie, who gave him Cowley’s contact details. This was not on August 22.

Calitz asked why Elias’s computer showed Elias had visited the ad and Cowley’s Facebook page that day. Elias answered: “If I was on Gumtree that day it wasn’t for the vehicle.”

Asked why he had gone to Cowley’s Facebook profile, Elias said he could not remember.

Calitz said: “Your memory seems to get very bad when evidence implicates you.”

Presiding Judge Anton Veldhuizen regularly interjected and told Elias to stop interrupting when questions were being asked. He told him to give simple answers.

At one point the judge said: “That’s your difficulty, Mr Elias, you always think about the purpose behind the question.”

The trial continues.