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Cape Town - Two men accused of murdering a teenager six days after his 16th birthday have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and aggravated robbery in the Western Cape High Court.
Donovan Rich, 37, and his stepson, Abdullah Cassiem-Londt, 23, did not offer a plea explanation when the trial began on Monday.
The men denied stabbing Trevor Maritz in his family home during the July 2011 school holidays.
The first witness was Trevor’s mother, Thelma Maritz, who said Cassiem-Londt often slept over at her Somerset Heights home in Kleinvlei while he was dating her niece, Jade Smith.
Maritz said: “I used to see Dullah (Cassiem-Londt) almost every weekend when he came to Eerste River to see Jade.
“Dullah always used to tell me that he never had an open relationship with his mother so we spoke about his relationship with Jade. He saw me as a mother figure.”
According to court documents, there was no forced entry into the house, and both men’s fingerprints were allegedly found at the scene.
The State alleges the men acted in common purpose when they allegedly killed Trevor.
They face a minimum sentence of life imprisonment for murder.
They also face an additional 15 years in jail for aggravated robbery.
Maritz testified on Monday that she went to work on the morning of the murder, leaving her son asleep at home. When she returned and couldn’t raise him, she spoke to people and visited a number of places, including the local soccer field, but no one had seen or heard from Trevor that day.
“I went home and knocked on the door. I called for him. There was no answer.
“I knocked on his bedroom window and saw his television was on. It was just a blue light. I went to my bedroom window. I saw my room was completely messed up. My drawers were open and my clothes were thrown out.”
She contacted ADT, who in turn notified the police.
Trevor’s body was found in his bedroom.
Four DVD players, jewellery, a pink GHD hair-straightener, reading glasses and a backpack were stolen from the house.
Police arrested Rich and Cassiem-Londt after the killing.
Rich is behind bars and Cassiem-Londt was granted bail of R500.
The trial continues on Tuesday.