Cape Town - Two Cape Town men have been convicted for murdering their German employer, then throwing his body down the mountainside.
Erich Poll, 46, was strangled at his business premises in Woodstock, not far from the Old Biscuit Mill, on April 9 last year.
While he was originally from Cologne in Germany, he lived and co-owned a wood and metal furniture design business in Cape Town.
Judge Pat Gamble on Monday found Victor Jacobs and Neville Martin guilty of Poll’s murder in the Western Cape High Court, saying there was “overwhelming” evidence that they were the killers.
He also found them guilty of the theft of Poll’s bakkie, as well as of three other counts of theft relating to cash withdrawals at ATMs in Worcester and Bellville totalling R6 100.
The pair were acquitted, however, of kidnapping and of carrying out EFT transfers to the value of R11 500 from their boss’s bank account.
According to Judge Gamble’s findings, there was little doubt that Poll was murdered in the factory, probably in his office. He had been killed that morning and his body had been thrown down the mountainside at the Du Toit’s Kloof Pass six to eight hours later.
Judge Gamble said both Jacobs and Martin had been at the factory that day.
If the incident had been the work of one or more “outsiders”, he said, they would have seen what was happening and hastened to Poll’s assistance.
He found that the two had acted together in beating up, handcuffing and strangling Poll. The court was unable to say whether the killing was premeditated as it was uncertain whether the pair had gone to work that day with the intention to kill their employer.
Judge Gamble said it was probable that they had become “greedy”, forcing Poll to give them his banking pin numbers. “He (Poll) had to be threatened and probably tortured,” he said.
The court was not satisfied with the evidence against the accused relating to the kidnapping charge and the charge over the EFT transfers, which could still have been made by Poll.
Sentencing procedures are expected to begin on Tuesday afternoon.