140324. Cape Town. 5 People appeared in the Cape Town High court for the so-called Gumtree murder case in which 21-year-old Olwyn Cowley was killed while trying to sell his car. Picture Henk Kruger/Cape Argus. Reporter Jade Witton

Cape Town -

Mitchells Plain resident Mervin Samuels says he washed blood from a pair of takkies belonging to one of the men accused of killing 21-year-old Olwyn Cowley in the so-called Gumtree murder trial.

Samuels was testifying in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday.

In the dock are Jason Elias, Shawaal Staggie, Rameez Felix, Soegbudien Abvajee and his ex-girlfriend, Tania Majiet. The men have pleaded not guilty to murder and aggravated robbery, and Majiet not guilty to being an accessory to murder after the fact.

The State claims Elias, Staggie and Felix contacted Cowley in August 2012 pretending to be interested in buying his silver BMW 325ti, which he had advertised on Gumtree.

Samuels said he had been friends with Staggie, Felix and Abvajee for several years, but had known Elias only for about two weeks.

On the day Cowley died, August 30, 2012, Samuels said Staggie and Felix had arrived at his Westridge wendy house late that night.

The men had a travel bag on wheels, and Felix had a firearm in his hand. There were two other people in the wendy house.

Samuels said he noticed blood on Felix’s shoes and inquired about what the men had done, but they did not answer him. He said he washed off the blood splatters and put the takkies in a plastic bag.

Felix’s T-shirt also allegedly had blood on it.

The travel bag contained study books and CDs, he said. Defence lawyers asked him whether he was aware that a wallet and business cards were also in the bag, but Samuels said he had not known that.

Samuels said Felix took the travel bag and left the wendy house, along with Staggie. Felix returned about 30 minutes later and they went to sleep. Early the next day, police arrived to arrest the men.

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