From left, Jermaine Mitchell, Glynn Carelson, Wendell Petersen, Robin Taylor and Graham Kammies, charged with a 2015 triple murder pleaded not guilty to a string of charges in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Monday. Picture: Raahil Sain/ANA

Port Elizabeth - Suspected gang kingpin, Wendell Petersen, rubbished the claims of a Section 204 witness who had outlined how the gang boss allegedly orchestrated the death of three men, the Port Elizabeth High Court heard on Wednesday. 

Petersen, Jermaine Mitchell, Glynn Carelson, Robin Taylor and Graham Kammies are charged with a triple murder which occurred in September 2015.

Charges against Morne Nel for his involvement in the murders were previously withdrawn after he became a Section 204 witness and testified against Peterson. 

The five remaining suspects face a string of charges which include murder, conspiracy to commit murder, performing an act contributing towards a pattern of criminal gang activity, and the unlawful possession of firearm and ammunition, among other charges. 

The men all pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

Under cross-examination by Prosecutor Mujaahid Sandan, Peterson denied being a gangster and said he made an income by buying and selling cars.

According to Petersen he could not recall his exact whereabouts on the day of the killings and said that he would have probably been driving around the city to view cars. 

Nel had previously detailed how the hits were arranged and carried out. He told the court how he and Peterson travelled to the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court to take surveillance on a rival gangster.

Nel said a meeting was previously held at Peterson’s Holland Park home to plot the murder. He also testified that they followed a taxi and Petersen gave the instruction by saying “shoot my brother”. 

“He [Nel] is telling the court what the State wants. He was never at my house it is not possible because of the [Pitbull] dogs and surveillance cameras,” said Petersen. 

Peterson said that Nel was misleading the court and would say anything to avoid prosecution.

Petersen claimed that he never knew the alleged shooters seated alongside him in the dock up until the time he was arrested and jailed. 

Petersen claimed that Nel wanted to back out or becoming a Section 204 witness and the State threatened him. 

“Then Advocate Liezel Landman said we will send you back to St Albans [Prison] and you know what Wendell Petersen will do to you,” he told the court.

Petersen was adamant that he was not the leader of the Dustlife gang. He claimed that Nel was telling lies and they did not know each other for a period of ten years as Nel claimed. 

Nel, is also a suspected gang boss of the Sestien Hond, and according to the State, he fell under the command of Peterson at the time of the killings.

According to the State, on 14 September 2015, three people were shot and killed in separate incidents in Gelvandale and Mount Road policing area

At around noon, Theodore Matthews was fatally wounded while seated in a taxi at the corners of Durban and Cottrell Roads in Korsten. Later, the same afternoon, Rajen Naidoo was gunned down at his work in Burt Drive in Newton Park. And at about 6pm, the same evening, Jermaine Essau was shot and killed while standing in his yard in Springbok Street in Gelvandale. 

According to the State, during the course of the day, the suspects were kept updated on the progress of the killings. 

The trial continues. 

African News Agency (ANA)