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Cape Town -
One of the four men arrested in connection with the murder of 21-year-old Olwyn Cowley was out on parole for an unrelated violent crime.
Western Cape police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk confirmed that Soegbudien Abvajee, 52, of Hazendal, Athlone, was on parole after being jailed for armed robbery.
Abvajee was the last of the four men arrested for Cowley’s murder.
Jason Elias, 30, and Shawaal Staggie, 26, both of Mitchell’s Plain, and Rameez Felix, 29, and Abvajee, both of Hazendal, made their second appearance in the Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
It is alleged the men planned Cowley’s murder and lured him to his death after responding to an advert on the online classified website Gumtree.
Cowley was last seen on August 30 after he left home to meet men who had expressed an interest in buying his car, a silver BMW 325ti, which was advertised on Gumtree.
The meeting was supposed to have taken place at Century City.
Cowley’s body was found with two gunshot wounds to the head at Monwabisi beach in Khayelitsha the next day. His car was later found in Mitchell’s Plain where one of the suspects was arrested.
According to the charge sheet, the State alleges that the men acted as a group in planning Cowley’s murder. They have been charged with a Schedule 6 offence - the category in which the most serious crimes fall. This also means the men have to show that exceptional circumstances existed to justify their release on bail. And, if convicted, the men face a minimum sentence of life in prison. A court can only deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence if the men show that substantial and compelling reasons warrant a deviation.
On Monday, State prosecutor Gift Hina said the case could be postponed so that a date could be arranged for formal bail application.
Hina asked that the men be held at Mitchells Plain police station until Friday, but magistrate Walter Golding was not happy about remanding the men at the police station.
Lawyers for the men agreed that the case could be postponed to next week instead, to allow time for them to consult with the clients at the weekend.
The men will remain in custody at Pollsmoor Prison until next Tuesday. - Cape Argus