Nolleen Knott from Camps Bay told the Western Cape High Court of her two-hour ordeal at the hands of a group of men who are accused of assaulting her and her husband before ransacking their house. Picture: Greg Maxwell
Nolleen Knott from Camps Bay told the Western Cape High Court of her two-hour ordeal at the hands of a group of men who are accused of assaulting her and her husband before ransacking their house. Picture: Greg Maxwell

Armed man's victim 'like my mother'

By A'eysha Kassiem Time of article published Feb 11, 2011

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While her 10-year-old daughter slept in the other room, Nolleen Knott from Camps Bay was sitting in her bedroom next to one of the armed men who had just broken into her house.

A few minutes earlier, he had forced her to her room while several other men tied up her husband with telephone cord after demanding money, jewellery and firearms.

“The man had a firearm and actually asked me to hold it for him at one stage,” said Knott.

“Then he sat down on the bed and asked me to sit next to him. He told me I reminded him of his mother.”

Knott was testifying in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday where Judge James Yekiso is to decide the fate of five men accused of a spate of housebreakings and robberies in Camps Bay during 2006 and 2008.

In the dock are Luis Momadi, Arnaldo Faife, Rogerio Laice, Sabastine Okele and Thamsanqa Mafuya.

The State alleges that the men - who require three court interpreters between them, lengthening proceedings considerably - worked together to commit some of the crimes.

Some of the residents in the homes that were targeted were also assaulted.

In one case, a woman was raped.

Momadi stands accused of the two rape charges, among other things.

Knott told the court that the man - whom she later identified as Faife - then went on to explain to her why it was necessary for him to commit the robbery.

“He said he came from very poor circumstances and he didn’t really want to do this.

“He was speaking in English to me and he spoke quite a lot,” she said.

“He told me how lovely my bedroom is and how lucky I was to have such a bedroom.”

Meanwhile, Knott said her husband, David, was tied up with telephone cord downstairs.

When she was later led downstairs, she too was tied up with skipping rope while the men used her daughter’s schoolbag and some of her husband’s backpacks to carry all the goods they had stolen from the house.

Knott said among her possessions that were taken were her wedding ring, the chain around her neck, her shoes and her watch.

She was also hit against the head and slapped several times by the men, who also threatened to harm her daughter, who remained asleep throughout the two-hour ordeal.

The court also heard further testimony on Thursday from another Camps Bay resident, Wolfgang Westendorf, who testified about how the men had allegedly ransacked his home.

Westendorf, and a friend who was raped, were also tied up by the men.

He was later assaulted.

“They brought half the household downstairs to load into the car,” he said, identifying Momadi as the “leader” of the group.

“At one point, Momadi was singing and dancing during the ordeal.”

The trial continues. - Cape Times

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