Evidence in Goldin murder points to more than theft

Uncertainty continues to shroud the motives of the killers of actor Brett Goldin and designer Richard Bloom—but experts doubt that it was part of a straightforward robbery.

They point to the ritualistic aspect of the killings—both men were found lying face down, almost naked, with bullet wounds to the back of the head. They are also struck by the age range of the eight young men arrested in connection with the murders—18 to 23.

“There is a propensity towards violence among youngsters. If it is gangs, then more so ...
If it was robbery alone they would not necessarily have killed the individuals,” said criminologist and researcher Irvin Kinnes.

Speculation is rife about a gang connection in the crime.

One of the accused, Clinton Davids, is the younger brother of Igshaan Marcus, the Americans gang leader in Hanover Park who, unlike fellow gang boss Gavin Atkins, has survived the current gang conflict.

In addition to Davids (23), Rameez Sayeed (23), Shavaan Marlie (25), Trevino Cairncross (22), Nurshad David (18) and Jade Wyngaard (19) appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on charges of murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances. All but two accused are from Kensington, close to central Cape Town.

The bodies, dressed only in socks, were found on Monday near the M5 highway. They were pointed out to a police constable from Limpopo and a trainee policeman in the early hours of Sunday after the latter had stopped a speeding car and noticed the driver’s name did not match the credit card in his possession.

Anthony Altbeker, researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, said criminals between 16 and 26 are more violent than others. And if they are gang members, they are more violence-prone because of the “macho celebration of violence and ability to inflict violence”.

Fatima Williams, head of counselling at the Trauma Centre for Victims of Violence and Torture, remarked that young people were more susceptible to peer pressure” and pointed to the “explosive mix” of youth and institutionalised violence in many communities, where gangsters were key role-models.

Identification of gangsters has become more tricky than it was a few years ago. The days of “bling” and visible gang tattoos are over, as gang members move into areas where a more respectable appearance is required.

Apart from the double murder, in Cape Town this week four men were beaten to death in a case of kangaroo justice and there were two taxi-related deaths. Law enforcement authorities are adamant that the crimes are coincidental, saying a downward trend in violent crime is continuing. The latest official police statistics show a slight decline in murders in the province, from 2 839 in 2004 to 2 680 a year later, and a dip in carjacking from 1 015 to 901.

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