Two in court for Austrian's murder

Two men are expected to appear in the Scottburgh Magistrate’s Court on Thursday in connection with the murder of a former Austrian footballer on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast.

Police spokesperson Director Phindile Radebe on Wednesday confirmed that the men would appear in connection with the fatal shooting of Peter Burgstaller last Friday.

Earlier on Wednesday police spokesperson Superintendent Zandra Hechter said three men had been taken into custody—one of whom was arrested on Saturday for being in possession of an unlicensed firearm.

Hechter said the man had appeared in the Umzinto Magistrate’s Court for the unlicensed firearm offence and had been remanded in custody for police to carry out further investigations.

Police were investigating whether the weapon, believed to be a handgun, was linked to the shooting.

The two men expected to appear in court on Thursday were arrested on Tuesday.

Hechter said in an earlier statement that the two men had been taken into custody “for being in possession of certain items suspected to belong to the deceased. They have been detained pending further investigation”.

Burgstaller arrived at the Selborne Estate on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast near the resort town of Pennington on Friday afternoon. The estate is about 20km south of Scottburgh.

He went to play a round of golf and his body was discovered by a security guard at about 6pm.

Gerald Seitter, the honorary Austrian consul in Durban, said Burgstaller’s wife, his sister and her husband arrived in the province on Tuesday.

Seitter did not say where they were staying and asked that the media “allow the family to grieve in peace”.

While the motive for the shooting has not been confirmed, police earlier reported that Burgstaller’s cellphone was missing.
The key to Burgstaller’s hotel room was found next to his body and his pockets had been turned inside out, but Hechter said earlier it did not appear that anything had been taken from his hotel room.

A post mortem was carried out on Wednesday afternoon and the family laid a wreath on the golf course where Burgstaller died.

Selborne Estate chief executive John Lamola said security features at the estate would be reviewed.

He said he was not aware that any of his staff were among those who was arrested, but conceded that a former staff member may have been involved.

Selborne is the largest employer in the Pennington area, with more than 200 employees.

Lamola said what was baffling was that there were sensors that should have alerted the security staff to the fence being breached.

“The sensors did not go off,” he said.

There are three guards that patrol the golf course every hour -‒ it was one of these who discovered Burgstaller’s body.

In October 2006 a “total revamp” of the estate’s security had been carried out.

“We are eagerly waiting to hear from police so we can find out what happened.”

Burgstaller, a father of two, was a former Austrian national team goalkeeper, and he also played for SV Salzburg. - Sapa

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