Man who witnessed murder in trouble for stealing victims shoes as tables turn in court

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A 20-year-old man who witnessed the 2018 murder of Selwyn April admitted in the Port Elizabeth High Court yesterday that after the shooting he removed the shoes of the victim.

After being warned of his rights following his agreement with the state to be a witness under section 204 of the Criminal Procedures Act (CPA), Ryno Kivido, 20, of Kleinskool, said that in the early hours of October 6 2018 he was with murder accused Jerome Kiviets, 26, and a group of other people when April was shot dead.

Kiviets, initially charged alongside Christo Gouws, pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder, two of attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

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Gouws, 46, who allegedly shot April, died of natural causes while awaiting trial at the St Albans Correctional Facility.

Yesterday, Kivido said on the night in question he was at his aunt’s home sleeping when he woke up and went looking for Gouws, Kiviets, his aunt — identified only as Belinda — and another woman identified as Charemel.

Kivido said he eventually found the group at a nearby tavern where they were drinking and allegedly under the influence of alcohol.

After the owner of the establishment told the group they were closed, the group including Kivido, Gouws and Kiviets left and, on their way home, encountered April and his relative who were looking for a place to buy liquor.

Kivido said April asked him if there was a place open to buy alcohol, to which he responded no.

“[Gouws] grabbed [April] and slapped him.

“[Gouws] then asked [Kiviets] ‘where’s the gun?’

“[Kiviets] gave the gun to [Gouws] and he shot [April] once in the head,” Kivido said.

After the shot was fired, Kivido said he was standing at a distance and saw Kiviets starting to remove April’s Nike sneakers.

As he approached the scene, Kivido said, he saw Kiviets allegedly move to take off April’s brown suede jacket before he removed April’s shoes.

“I took the [sneakers] and [Kiviets] took the jacket,” Kivido said.

At that stage, Kivido said, a young woman approached the spot where April’s body was lying.

“[Kiviets] said ‘voetsek ,I will shoot you’ [to the girl]. [Kiviets] then fired two shots towards the girl,” Kivido said.

Kivido said Kiviets then took the sneakers from him, only to later try to sell them back to Kivido at Belinda’s house for R150.

According to Kivido, Kiviets then left the sneakers behind before he left and went back to his house.

A short while later, Kivido said there was a knock at the door and the police entered.

“I told the police [Kiviets] tried to sell [the sneakers] to me for R150,” Kivido said.

Kivido, Gouws and the two women who were with them were then taken to the police station, where Kivido gave a statement before pointing out to the police where Kiviets lived.

April’s brown suede jacket was found at Kiviets’s home and he was then taken in for questioning.

The trial continues.

– The Herald


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