Mom murder: ‘Family conflict ran deep’

Cape Town - The teen accused of murdering his girlfriend’s mother may have killed to protect her neglected nine-year-old daughter – or he may have been after her bank account, the Simon’s Town Magistrate’s Court heard on Tuesday.

Kyle Maspero, 18, was silent as his lawyer cross-examined Captain Nomalungisa Damoyi in Simon's Town. Picture: Cindy Waxa. Credit: CAPE ARGUS

Kyle Maspero, 18, and his girlfriend Phoenix Racing Cloud Theron, 19, allegedly strangled Rosemary Theron in their Clovelly home in March. Maspero appeared on Tuesday for the second hearing of a bail application.

Captain Nomalungisa Damoyi of Fish Hoek police testified in opposition to the application. She described the murder based on Theron’s confession, an interview with Maspero, and a detailed booklet written by co-accused Godfrey Scheepers.

Maspero allegedly told Damoyi: “I broke her neck with a rope.” But because this was not a formal confession, there is no evidence of it.

Damoyi said Rosemary was murdered on March 7. She had gone out, leaving Maspero and Phoenix to babysit her nine-year-old daughter.

Damoyi said they had drugged the girl because they had planned to murder Rosemary when she returned.

 Damoyi said conflict ran deep in the family: in Phoenix’s confession, she allegedly expressed anger that her mother had forced her to go back to work while still recovering from an abortion. Rosemary also allegedly left her younger daughter unattended, did not send her to school, and “exposed her to explicit activities”. The two teens had to look after the young girl, which they resented.

Damoyi also said: “Godfrey questioned the motives of Kyle (Maspero) after he said there was R80 000 in Rosemary’s bank account that he wanted to get his hands on.”

Nearly five months after the murder Maspero and Phoenix were struggling financially. Scheepers, a friend, invited them to stay in his girlfriend’s house in Gordon’s Bay and they moved there on the last day of July.

Damoyi said Maspero had persuaded his friend to dig up the body, which was buried behind the Clovelly house. They moved it to Baden Powell Drive.

In September, Scheepers handed a booklet of details about the murder and the body’s location to Damoyi. He was interviewed by detectives.

“During the interview, I noticed that Godfrey was very afraid of Kyle,” Damoyi told the court. “Kyle said he would kill anyone who crossed their path.”

But William de Grass, for Maspero, said Scheepers’s claims could not be trusted, given that he only came forward after falling out with Maspero.

He said the police had no record of the admission of guilt they allege Maspero made during an interview, and added that the post-mortem on Rosemary’s body could not ascertain the cause of death.

De Grass also said that Maspero’s life was in danger in Pollsmoor Prison.

Maspero said he had been violently harassed by other prisoners.

His application will continue on Monday.

It is unclear whether Phoenix will apply for bail, or remain in prison.