Two in court for murder of boss

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Copy of IOL court justice scales Independent Newspapers

Cape Town - The trial of two men accused of murdering their German employer - a Woodstock business owner - is under way in the Western Cape High Court.

Victor Jacobs and Neville Martin face seven charges, including murder, kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances and theft.

The State alleges that they murdered Erich Poll, 46, on April 9 2013 by strangling and otherwise assaulting him.

His body was later found at the Du Toit’s Kloof Pass.

Poll, who was originally from Germany and lived in Cape Town, co-owned a wood and metal furniture design company in Albert Road, Woodstock.

Jacobs and Martin have both pleaded not guilty to all the charges. Their trial began on Monday.

One of the witnesses who testified on Wednesday was the investigating officer, Warrant Officer David Miles, who told of the matter initially having been treated as a case of a missing person.

Among the documents he read into the court record was a “confession” Jacobs had made at about 11.30pm on April 15 last year.

According to the confession, written in Afrikaans, Jacobs and Martin had been at work on April 9, 2013 (the day of the killing).

Jacobs claimed that Martin had gone to the boss’s office and that he’d heard an argument between them. After a while, Martin had called him to the office.

“I opened the door and saw that the boss was lying on the ground,” the document read.

Martin had asked him to help carry the man to a bakkie, a Ford Ranger, which he had done.

Jacobs further claimed that he had locked up the workshop and given the keys to Martin, who had then driven away.

Jacobs had then gone home.

He went on to say that an extra R5 000 was placed in his bank account. He hadn’t known whether it was a bonus or money that was owed to him.

Jacobs’s defence counsel, Sakkie Maartens, indicated he had no objection as to the admissibility of the document.

Earlier on Wednesday, the court had heard from a former co-worker of Jacobs and Martin about unhappiness over the non-payment of bonuses.

Miles also testified about having conducted searches at the homes of Jacobs and Martin.

Nothing of note had been found at Jacobs’s place, but Miles described several items they had found at Martin’s residence. These had included handcuffs, a toy gun and a baton.

They had conducted DNA tests on these items, as well as clothing belonging to both accused, but “nothing of relevance came back”.

Under cross-examination, Miles acknowledged there was no forensic evidence linking the items found at Martin’s home to the crime.

The robbery charge the two men face relates to Poll’s Ford Ranger bakkie. The four counts of theft relate to money, allegedly involving amounts of R11 500, R1 500, R2 000 and R2 600.

The trial continues on Thursday.

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Cape Times

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