Gumtree murder suspects caught on CCTV

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gumtree footage

Cape Town - Snippets of CCTV footage and spy cameras perched between buildings and traffic booms at Canal Walk helped detectives track down the four men accused of murdering Olwyn Cowley, whose Gumtree advert for his BMW the men had responded to.

Still images from cameras inside and outside the shopping centre helped investigating officer Wesley Lombard paint a picture of how police came to arrest Jason Elias and four others.

After meeting potential buyers for his silver-grey BMW 325i, Cowley went with the accused on a test drive during which he was shot dead in August 2012.

Jason Elias, Shawaal Staggie, Rameez Felix, Soegbudien Abvajee and Elias’s ex-girlfriend, Tania Majiet, are in the dock of the Western Cape High Court for the murder.

The men have pleaded not guilty to murder and aggravated robbery.

Majiet pleaded not guilty to being an accessory to murder after the fact.

Cowley, 21, and Elias had met a few days before his murder. Lombard, investigating the discovery of Cowley’s body in Baden Powell Drive, connected the dots after Elias made a statement to police about the meeting at Canal Walk.

The footage shows Elias running along Century Boulevard towards the Shell garage, some of the accused moving in and out of the centre close to a ticket pay station, Cowley’s BMW and a black Mercedes arriving and leaving the shopping centre, and an image from a “spy-cam” at the ticket machine.

The State alleges that they all met at the Shell garage and Elias, Staggie and Abvajee went for a test drive, during which Cowley was killed. The men returned to Canal Walk, met up with Felix and drove off.

Elias says he had been driving and heard the shot. He was told to continue driving and drove “in circles”.

Cowley’s wounds suggest the shooter had been sitting behind him, the court has heard.

Abvajee submitted a plea explanation admitting he was the shooter, but said he did it under threat from the other men in the car.

Majiet plans to bring a discharge application next week in an attempt to have charges against her withdrawn.

The trial is set to continue on Tuesday.

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Cape Argus

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