‘Murder accused was alone with Bronx owner’Comment on this story
Cape Town -
Cellphone records showed John Frederick Coetzer was alone with nightclub owner Bruno Bronn for about two hours on the night he was murdered, the Western Cape High Court heard.
Henry van Niekerk, representing Achmat Toffa, one of Coetzer’s co-accused, put to Coetzer during cross-examination on Tuesday that it was during this time that he killed Bronn.
Coetzer, Toffa and Fareez Allie are on trial for murdering Bronn inside his Ocean View Drive home in Sea Point on February 6, 2012.
The State alleges they planned the murder and robbed Bronn of his BMW, Nokia cellphone, briefcase with documents and bottles of perfume.
The men pleaded not guilty to murder and aggravated robbery, which carry a minimum sentence of life and 15 years in prison, respectively.
Van Niekerk put to Coetzer that he was alone with Bronn from 9pm until just after 11pm on the night of the murder and that no calls had been made to or from Bronn’s cellphone in that time.
“I can’t argue. I don’t have anything (cellphone records) in front of me, but he was on the phone,” Coetzer responded.
It was, in fact, during that time that Coetzer murdered Bronn, Van Nieker said.
Coetzer responded that he had not murdered Bronn.
Van Niekerk said cellphone records from Allie’s phone and that of Kurt Erispe - a former co-accused turned State witness - showed that they were not at Bronn’s house when the murder was committed.
“That I can’t answer,” Coetzer said.
Van Niekerk said the shouts of “help me, help me” that a neighbour had heard on the night of the murder were heard at around 11pm - when Coetzer was alone with Bronn.
“The only comment I can say is that I didn’t hear anyone shout ‘help me, help me’,” Coetzer said.
Later, when the same question was asked differently, Coetzer said: “(Bronn) didn’t shout ‘help me, help me’. What I heard was he shouted ‘help’ once”.
Van Niekerk said Toffa’s case would be that Coetzer framed him to get his fingerprints on items inside the house - placing him at the murder scene.
“That’s a lie. There’s no reason for me to frame him,” Coetzer said.
The men are due back in court on April 14.