Arrest for knife murders

A 34-year-old man has been charged with the murders of Ian McPherson, 68, and Doug Notten, 57, slain within weeks of each other.

Zimbabwean national Blessing Bveni, of Philippi East, appeared in the Muizenberg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday April 18 for the murder of Mr Notten.

He is being held in Pollsmoor Prison after abandoning his bail application in Mr McPherson’s case last month.

Police spokesman Captain Stephen Knapp said the knife used to kill Mr McPherson had been recovered, and police were investigating the possibility that the same knife had been used to stab Mr Notten.

Mr Bveni will be back in court on Friday May 11 for Mr Notten’s case.

Mr Notten was stabbed to death while hiking with his wife, Julia up Echo Valley above Boyes Drive on Sunday January 28, (“Murder on mountain,” Echo, February 1).

As avid outdoors people, the couple had walked the route many times before.

On that fateful Sunday they had planned to find a suitable location to have a cup of coffee and enjoy their surroundings. They had not been carrying any valuables. Instead of spending the morning relaxing in nature, they were attacked by a knife-wielding man.

The man who approached them from behind while they were making their way up the mountain became aggressive and jostled Mr Notten as he passed the couple.

Mr Notten fell to the ground and attempted to fight back while Ms Notten pepper sprayed the man which temporarily set him off course. Mr Notten urged her to run away.

The man then followed Ms Notten, hurling rocks at her and hitting her several times. As she looked back she saw the man had returned to her husband who was bleeding badly. The man then frantically continued to stab Mr Notten.

And on Tuesday March 13, Mr McPherson was brutally stabbed and robbed of his bicycle while cycling on the trial near Brigandine Avenue near the Fish Hoek sports fields (“Cyclist stabbed to death,” Echo March 15).

The following day, police arrested two men, one for being in possession of the dead man’s bicycle and the other for being in possession of his cellphone. They face charges of possession of stolen property.

On Thursday, March 15, police arrested Mr Bveni, who was charged with murder. The trio appeared in the Simon’s Town Magistrate’s Court on Friday March 16, (Arrests made after cyclist’s murder,” Echo March 22).

Mr Notten’s sister, Caroline Voget, said the family had learnt of the charges against Mr Bveni on Tuesday last week.

She said the family knew little of Mr Bveni except that he had served jail time in Zimbabwe for attempted murder, according to what the police had told the family. The Echo was unable to confirm that with the police, however, before going to print.

“We are thankful that this violent man is in prison and hope he stays there forever more,” Ms Voget said.

The family has hired a private investigator, Hansie Linde, to help with the case. He is also assisting the McPherson family.

Mr McPherson’s family declined to comment.