Off-duty sergeant witnessed murder of detective

A police sergeant sitting in a car at the Woodstock police station saw two men in a red BMW opening fire on police Inspector Lourens le Roux, the Cape High Court heard on Tuesday.

It is alleged that the two men were being investigated by Le Roux for the earlier murder of Godfrey Hendricks, in an argument over a baseball cap.

Before the court are Ebraheem Jacobs, of Lansdowne, and Gareth Leetz, of Walmer Estate, who have pleaded not guilty before Judge Andre le Grange and two assessors to both murders.

Sergeant Michael Toto, of the Woodstock uniformed branch of the police, told the court he had left work and was seated in a car outside the Woodstock police station just after 3pm on the day that Le Roux died.

As he waited for the driver, a red BMW approached at high speed and stopped next to a white Citi Golf parked nearby. He said two men got out of the BMW and approached the Golf on foot. Both started shooting at the occupant of the Golf.

Toto told the court: ”I realised they were shooting at the occupant of the Golf, and I ran to the police station to report the incident.

”As I rushed to the police station, I noticed the driver of the Golf, who had been shot, was one of our members. I alerted the station staff, and rushed out again, to find the BMW had disappeared.”

He said the shooting had lasted about three minutes.

Threatened

Earlier, teenager Anchella Scotman (19) tearfully told the court that she had been threatened with harm if she testified in the trial.

Scotman told Le Grange she was standing in front of her parental home on April 12 this year when a red BMW car pulled up. One of the BMW’s two occupants got out of the car to get something from the boot of the car, or to put something into it. Having done that, the man disappeared around a corner.

Later, a police officer approached her with a newspaper clipping with photographs of two men who were wanted for the Hendricks murder. She told the court she was able to identify one of the men as Jacobs.

She appeared to tremble as she testified in a soft voice, and was often requested to talk louder.

When prosecutor Esna Erasmus asked her if Jacobs was present in court, it meant she had to turn around and face the two accused. She sobbed as she did so, and identified Jacobs as the man who had stepped out of the car to open the boot.

As the judge noted on the record that she was frightened, nervous and weeping, she explained that she had received threats of harm. She said three men in a black BMW had ”pinned her down” two weeks after she had given the police a statement.

She sobbed: ”They said they would hurt me, and that they knew that I would be here in court today.”

The hearing continues on Wednesday. — Sapa

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