Sizzlers pair fall out

By Karyn Maughan Time of article published Mar 4, 2004

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Sizzlers murder accused Trevor Theys wants to be moved to a different prison because, he says, he fears fellow accused Adam Woest - after each blamed the other for last year's massacre in the Sea Point gay massage parlour.

Theys asked to be moved from Pollsmoor to Goodwood prison at the end of a dramatic day of confession and recrimination in the Cape High Court.

The judge said he would pass on the request to prison authorities but could not make such an order.

Both accused admitted that they had killed Sizzlers owner Aubrey "Eric" Otgaar and masseurs Marius Meyer, Warren Visser, Stephanus Fouché, Travis Reade, Johan Meyer and Timothy Boyd.

Both admitted they had attempted to kill the only survivor, who managed to crawl to a nearby petrol station to call for help.

It was at this point that their versions of what happened clashed.

Each man claimed the other had planned a robbery at Sizzlers and instigated the nine killings.

As a result of the differing accounts, Mr Justice Nathan Erasmus entered a plea of not guilty for both men, although they had sought to plead guilty.

Woest denied that he had killed masseur Sergio de Castro or visited New York antiques auctioneer Gregory Berghaus.

He claimed his part in the massacre was spurred by fear that Theys, a taxi driver who mainly ferried around female escorts, would harm his erstwhile fiancée.

In his plea explanation, Woest - whose Sea Point flat overlooked Sizzlers - said he could not "erase what happened" on the night of the killings, but he apologised for his actions.

In a previous statement to a magistrate, read out by state advocate Anthony Stephen, Woest said he and Theys had "puked our guts out" at a Voortrekker Road garage after fleeing the scene of the killings.

In a written statement to a magistrate on the day of his arrest - submitted as a plea explanation - Theys said Woest, a former late-night Sea Point restaurant manager, had first approached him about robbing Sizzlers.

Woest told him a recently fired masseur had drunkenly divulged that "a substantial amount of cash" was kept on the premises.

Theys hinted that a love betrayal prompted him to steal his brother Charles's gun and to agree to Woest's suggested robbery on the night of the killings.

"I had a girlfriend who is 20 years old and she broke my heart with another woman.

"Half the time I didn't know what I was doing because my girlfriend hurt me," he said.

He said he had gone along with the killings because Woest said he would "get rid of loose ends".

Both plea explanations say that Woest, who said he had been out with friends at the La Med club earlier that night, was the one who contacted Sizzlers.

According to Woest, he arranged a midnight booking, stating that he would prefer a blond masseur, from a Sea Point payphone.

Theys and Woest say they donned rubber gloves in the car in Marais Street before entering Sizzlers.

When they arrived at the Graham Street house, a manager took them to a room identified as "studio three" and again asked Woest what treatment he preferred.

Woest again said he wanted a blond masseur and 17-year-old Stephanus Fouché was sent in.

Theys and Woest then each allege the other man took out a gun and told Fouché it was a robbery, warning the teenager that that no one would get hurt if everyone co-operated.

Fouché took the men to a room near the entrance, where Otgaar was brought in and a sum - no more than R2 000 - was given to them from a safe. Woest put the money in his pocket.

They dispute which man gave the order that Otgaar and his staff be tied up with washing line from Woest's flat. And it has yet to be established who started stabbing the victims.

Woest claims Theys said "we should cut the persons to scare them into giving us more money", while Theys alleges Woest gave him a knife and told him to slit the men's throats, "which I did not want to do".

Expert pathologist Denise Lourens yesterday told the court that the cuts inflicted on the victims were potentially fatal only in Otgaar's case.

Otgaar sustained a wound to his carotid artery when he was stabbed, by either Woest or Theys, during an escape attempt.

State counsel Stephen said on Wednesday that the state would argue that the throat-slitting was used as a form of torture.

Woest alleges Theys told him to throw petrol over the men who had been tied up after Otgaar's stabbing.

"I did so and they started screaming and crying," he said.

Woest claimed Theys then chased De Castro out of another room.

He said he found De Castro lying naked on the floor and after the 22-year-old asked him if he could get dressed, he allowed him to put some clothes on.

He then tied up both De Castro and Berghaus, who were in the room with him.

Theys said he had tried to "comfort" the two men by promising them "that no one will die".

"We were actually laughing and joking," he said.

Woest admitted he had cut De Castro with his knife and alleged he had been attacked from behind by Berghaus as he approached the kitchen of the massage parlour.

Woest and Theys said Theys had then pulled Berghaus off Woest and struck him on the head with his gun. The scuffle apparently continued, with Theys claiming Berghaus attacked him "on my face, choking me or something".

A gun went off and Berghaus was hit in the stomach.

Theys alleges Woest then shot De Castro and told him that it was "too late".

The men agreed that they then started shooting the bound victims in the dorm room, starting from opposite sides.

The trial continues on Thursday.

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