By Karyn Maughan and Caryn Dolley
Actor Brett Goldin had already packed his bags for a dream trip to the United Kingdom, where he was to perform in William Shakespeare's hometown, Stratford-upon-Avon.
But the performer - one of the stars of the popular local film Crazy Monkey - The Movie (Straight Outta Benoni) - will not be mesmerising British audiences, as he had hoped, in Janet Suzman's production of Shakespeare's Hamlet. The 28-year-old's body was found in Cape Town early on Sunday with a bullet in the head.
Goldin was found murdered together with his friend, upcoming fashion designer Richard Bloom, 27. The two were killed with single shots to the head in Mowbray, Cape Town, after they had left a party in the trendy Camps Bay area.
Their bodies were found naked, except for their socks, and their clothes had been strewn around them. Their bodies were found by police officers under some trees next to the Klipfontein offramp of the M5 highway.
Actor Colin Moss, who starred with Goldin in Crazy Monkey, said his personal sense of loss was huge.
"Brett was an incredibly loving and affectionate person, ridiculously talented... and a real little bundle of energy," a tearful Moss said on Monday.
Five young Athlone men have been arrested in connection with the murders.
Three of the men were caught when alert Camps Bay policemen, patrolling in the early hours of Sunday morning, spotted a blue Peugeot driving in what they described as a reckless manner. They pulled the car over and searched the three occupants. One of them had Goldin's credit card.
Police spokesperson Billy Jones said that, based on the information on the credit card, officers tracked down Goldin's family, who indicated that he had been at a party in Camps Bay on Saturday night and had not been heard from since.
Bloom and Goldin had left the party in Bloom's charcoal Polo Playa shortly before midnight.
The three suspects were taken to the Camps Bay police station, where Jones said they were questioned on the whereabouts of Goldin and Bloom until the early hours of Monday morning.
"Finally they accompanied police officers to the scene and directed them to the bodies," he said.
A few hours later, police arrested another two men in Crawford, Athlone.
Three of the men were due to appear in court on Tuesday for possession of stolen property, while all five are expected in court on Wednesday in connection with the murders.
Jones said it appeared that the two had been shot at the scene, but this was yet to be confirmed.
Their cellphones and Bloom's Polo were still missing.
The provisional motive for the murders was robbery, Jones said.
Goldin's parents, Peter and Denise, who were in Cape Town when their son was murdered, had travelled down from Johannesburg last week to see him off on his trip at the weekend.
Goldin's distraught mother said: "He was so excited to go (to the UK). My husband and I feel like our hearts have been torn out.
"He was such a wonderful, loving man who was always cheerful and full of life."
Brett's only sibling, Samantha, was flying from Joburg to be with her parents.
Meanwhile, the South African fashion industry has been stunned by the cold-blooded murder of Bloom, who was a label manager for the Cape Town-based Maze clothing company and was considered a talented up-and-coming designer.
Mark Sacks, co-director of Maze Clothing, said: "He was incredibly well liked by the people he worked with and by those who bought our clothes."
A gutted Suzman on Monday described Goldin as "someone who lit up a room", while actor John Kani, who also stars in Hamlet, said he was "a wonderful actor and great human being who died too young".