The two men arrested for the murder of three children and a teenager at a house in Elsies River earlier this week became emotional in the Goodwood Magistrate’s Court on Friday, crying as they were led to the court’s holding cells.
“It wasn’t me. I didn’t kill those children!” Rowan Stuurman shouted as he wept while descending the stairs leading to the bowels of the building.
His co-accused Peter Nokewes followed suit, also proclaiming his innocence.
The men are expected to apply for their release on bail – an application which the State intends to oppose, the court heard on Friday.
Stuurman and Nokewes entered the packed courtroom on Friday morning and were told they faced four counts of murder for the deaths of a 19-year-old male, two 12-year-old boys and a 10-year-old girl.
It is alleged that they forced their way into a wendy house in Northmead Court, Clarkes Estate, on Tuesday and opened fire, News24 previously reported.
Two women, believed to be the children’s mothers were also shot, but survived. They were seriously injured.
Armed Anti-Gang Unit officers were part of the many people present in court on Friday.
The State requested a postponement, saying that the charge sheet was still incomplete and that more bail information was needed.
Three men had initially been arrested for the murders.
However, “the third suspect was released due to insufficient evidence in terms of witness accounts in our investigations,” said Western Cape police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut.
Police Minister Bheki Cele commended the officers who apprehended the two men within hours of the killings.
“They have done a good job. They even found the murder weapon, which means we have a strong case,” he said.
“This nonsensical kind of thing where you go [and shoot] – whether you have a gangster in the house or no gangsters – you can’t be killing 10-year-olds.
“We need to prevent, rather than react. It should be best that these things don’t happen [in the first place].”
The two are expected to return to court on September 27.