The house where Alexander Otten was found dead. Picture: Courtney Africa
The house where Alexander Otten was found dead. Picture: Courtney Africa

Cape businessman found murdered

By Jason Felix And Aziz Hartley Time of article published Oct 23, 2012

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Cape Town - A Cape Town investment manager was found murdered at his West Coast holiday home on Saturday after being robbed, police said on Monday.

Alexander Otten, 53, owner of Northstar Asset Management in Bishopscourt, had his hands and feet tied and a plastic bag over his head. He had a head wound that may have been caused by a blow from a blunt object.

Two suspects, aged 22 and 26, were arrested in St Helena Bay on Monday and would appear in the Vredenburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, said police spokesman Andre Traut.

“The speedy arrests were the result of excellent detective work,” said Traut.

Otten’s holiday home is at Vlamink Vlei A – a game lodge near Velddrif, about two hours’ drive from Cape Town. There are four luxury holiday houses on the property – all fitted with security alarms.

“The motive for the murder is linked to a robbery that took place at his house. The house was ransacked and some goods broken,” said police spokesman November Filander.

Otten’s brother Theo said his brother’s widow, Jo, and their two teenage children were in deep shock.

“[Though] very traumatic for the whole family, we are a big family and are pulling together,” he said.

Theo Otten said his brother had gone to his holiday home alone, something he often did when he wanted to maintain and repair the place.

“Jo had tried to speak to him a few times, but his phone was off, which was very unusual.

“She then called the manager, who went to check and then he found the body. Apparently intruders got into the house,” he said.

Otten said his brother was an exceptionally bright man.

He was born in Cape Town, attended St Joseph’s College, studied at UCT and obtained a Masters degree in business at Oxford University in England.

“About 22 years ago he worked in England for a few years. He ran his own investment company for about 20 years.

“What has happened is shocking and horrible. Theo was a very honourable and just man. He was an absolute gentleman and his friends loved him,” Otten said.

When the Cape Times visited the scene on Monday, police forensic units were searching for clues and fingerprints in the house and in Otten’s Mercedes.

Police at the scene told the Cape Times there were footprints at the back of the house leading to the beach.

The farm owner’s daughter, Elaine Venter, said: “This is a big shock to the family and to all our visitors that come here to relax. This is the first time this has happened.

“Our visitors come here thinking that they have left the crime and hustle and bustle of the city behind, but now one person comes here and he gets murdered. This is totally unacceptable.”

She said Otten had checked in on Friday and she took him to his house.

“This is private land and here you do not expect anything like this to happen. We won’t have any peace in this little community now,” she said.

“This is a very sad situation, but we will simply have to try and prevent this from happening in the future.”

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Cape Times

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