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Money paid for hit, I heard boss saying

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grant smith

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Alan Kusevitsky leaves the Cape Town Magistrate's Court. Photo: Jeffrey Abrahams

A former City Bowl Armed Response paramedic overheard a conversation in which her ex-boss, Grant Smith, allegedly confirmed that money had been arranged to kill his then-partner, Alan Kusevitsky, the Cape Town Regional Court has heard.

On Tuesday, Lee Ann Bedwell, who worked at the company in 2008, testified in the conspiracy to commit murder case against Smith.

Smith is accused of conspiring with his ex-lover, Joanne Neethling, to kill Kusevitsky in November 2008. But their alleged plan was foiled when Neethling handed a deposit of R15 000 to undercover police.

Neethling has since pleaded guilty to her role in the crime and was sentenced to three years in jail in terms of a plea and sentence agreement with the State.

Bedwell testified further that during the time she worked at the company, Neethling had shared personal information with her, including telephone calls between her and Smith.

During the October 2008 call, Neethling put the cellphone on speaker and allowed Bedwell to listen.

“Mr Smith (told Neethling that) he put the money up, this conversation never took place, and she asked him the address…” Bedwell testified, adding that it was the only part of the conversation she heard.

Smith’s lawyer, William Booth, denied that his client had called Neethling that day. But Bedwell maintained that she had heard Smith’s voice, adding that he had a distinct lisp.

Booth put it to Bedwell during cross-examination that Smith did not have a lisp.

“It’s more of a speech impediment. There are certain words he cannot pronounce properly,” Bedwell said.

A second State witness, IT consultant Cornelius van Rensburg, who also worked at the company in 2008, testified that Kusevitsky had asked him to examine company computers.

In January 2009, Van Rensburg went through the computers and the voice recording system which he had installed to trace incoming and outgoing calls and their duration.

On inspection, Van Rensburg found that data recorded on December 4, 2008, had been deleted.

He testified that the records could only be deleted from the computer that was stored in Smith’s office. Booth put to Van Rensburg that he could not dispute that other staff could access Smith office and computer.

Van Rensburg conceded this.

The trial continues on October 30.

jade.witten@inl.co.za

Cape Argus


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