Leila Samodien

Justice Writer

ONE of the accused in the so-called Gumtree case visited the Facebook profile of Olwyn Cowley in the week before his murder, the Western Cape High Court has heard.

This was according to lawyer Mornay Calitz, who yesterday questioned Jason Elias, 30, about his computer activity.

Cowley, 21, was robbed and murdered on August 30, 2012, after trying to sell his car, a silver BMW, on Gumtree.

Defence counsel Calitz, acting for Rameez Felix – one of Elias’s three co-accused – asked Elias about accessing Gumtree to look at the BMW advert on August 22, 2012. Elias said this could not be correct because there hadn’t been such a long period between him seeing the advert and him viewing the car on August 28, 2012.

Calitz said Elias’s computer hard drive records showed that there had been a “hit” on Gumtree in relation to the car.

“Incidentally, on the same day, you go to the Facebook profile of the owner,” he said. But according to Elias, he did not visit Cowley’s profile on Facebook and while he had viewed the advert for the BMW, it hadn’t been so soon.

Calitz said this information had been admitted by Elias in terms of his admissions, asking Elias whether he was now withdrawing this concession.

Elias said he had made a mistake by not noticing the date. The only reason he had gone on to Gumtree was because another co-accused, Shawaal Staggie, had told him about the car.

Calitz also questioned Elias about the exchanging of details on the day he and Staggie had gone to view the car. Allegations have emerged that Cowley was given a false name, Jason Petersen.

Elias questioned why he would give the surname Petersen when he’d given his proper ID number.

He broke down later as Calitz questioned him about differences between his oral evidence and his statement to the police.

Judge Anton Veldhuizen adjourned until today.

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