Gay killing blamed on landlord's sex pal

By Time of article published Mar 9, 2001

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By Estelle Ellis

A devastated Werner Butterworth greeted his landlord, Andre Coetzee, with the words: "Le Roux is dead. Morne did it." after finding the body of his lover in their Goodwood home, the Cape High Court heard.

Coetzee was testifying in the trial of Morne Langeveld, 24, of Ruyterwacht, who is charged with murder and robbery.

He is alleged to have killed Le Roux Theunissen, 21, in July 1998, three days after Theunissen and his father were reconciled on the television programme, Carte Blanche.

His father had thrown him out of their house five years earlier when he found out his son was gay.

On Monday, Langeveld admitted killing Theunissen. But the factual basis of his guilty plea was not accepted by the state and a plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf.

In his plea explanation, Langeveld said Theunissen had told him that he was in love with him and wanted to make love to him.

Langeveld said he had refused and Theunissen then threatened him and swore at him. He then became very angry and strangled Theunissen first with his hands and then with a tie.

Langeveld said Theunissen was still breathing when he hid him under the bed.

Coetzee, Theunissen's landlord, told the court he met Langeveld in 1996. They became friends and later sporadic lovers. They did not have a serious relationship.

"It was the natural course of things. I don't think he was gay, but he slept with men from time to time."

Coetzee said Langeveld had confided in him that he did not want his parents to find out that he slept with men.

"After his mother's death, he told me that he wanted to pursue his life as he saw fit. He wanted to move in with me."

Coetzee said that Theunissen met Langeveld and they became good friends.

He said that when he arrived home after Theunissen's body was found, Butterworth kept saying, "Morne did it".

Police evidence was that, after questioning, Langeveld pointed out the person to whom he had given Theunissen's cellphone and showed police where he pawned and sold some of Theunissen's belongings.

The trial continues on Monday.

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