The two men accused of hijacking and murdering Scarborough surfer David Wolfromm, 38, were, at the time of their arrest, both out on bail in a case involving the hijacking of a young couple in Misty Cliffs earlier this year.
Mark Williams, 33, of Ocean View, made a brief appearance in the Simon’s Town Magistrate’s Court on Thursday May 23, following his arrest in Philippi the day before.
The court heard that witnesses had linked Mr Williams to the surfer’s hijacking and murder along with co-accused, Wilson “Stoffel” Wilschut, 30, who had been arrested in Ocean View on Saturday May 11.
Mr Williams told the court he would not be applying for bail. The case was postponed to Tuesday May 28 so that he could appear in court with his co-accused, Mr Wilschut, from now on.
Mr Wilschut appeared in court last week on Tuesday May 21 and abandoned his bail application after the Kommetjie Neighbourhood Watch (Kommwatch) started an online petition to prevent him from getting bail, (“Sad farewell to Scarborough surfer,” Echo, May 23).
Both Mr Wilschut and Mr Williams face charges of murder, hijacking, malicious damage to property and defeating the ends of justice. Mr Wilschut faces an additional charge of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Mr Williams was supported by family members in the back of the court.
Moments after his first court appearance for the murder and hijacking of Mr Wolfromm, Mr Williams stepped back into the dock for the Misty Cliffs case. He was joined by his co-accused in that case, Shane Lakay.
Mr Williams and Mr Lakay, along with Mr Wilschut and a fourth individual, are charged with hijacking, kidnapping and robbing a young couple who had been watching the sunset at Misty Cliffs on January 2.
Only Mr Williams and Mr Lakay – who were arrested together – appeared on that matter on Thursday May 23.
Mr Wilschut and the fourth accused – who cannot be named as he is a minor who faces an additional charge of sexual assault for which he has not yet pleaded – are due to appear separately at later dates.
It is alleged that the men hijacked the couple, held them at gunpoint and forced them to withdraw cash from an ATM after driving around with them for hours in their vehicle, (“No arrests as cyclist robbed, stabbed,” Echo, January 17).
Mr Lakay and the unnamed accused in the Misty Cliffs case are not facing charges related to the Wolfromm case. Mr Lakay will remain out on bail while the minor was released in the care of his parents.
Mr Wilschut and Mr Williams have been remanded in custody.
Mr Wolfromm’s body was found in the boot of his torched Nissan X-Trail on Wednesday May 8 on Slangkop Road, near Ocean View, around 7pm.
The father of three and a sustainable-energy engineer was attacked while returning to his vehicle after surfing at Witsands.
Mr Wilschut and Mr Williams allegedly put him in the boot of his car and covered him with a towel before driving off and picking up two woman to “show off their new car.”
According to Ocean View police spokesman Sergeant Leon Fortuin, the women became aware of “something” in the boot and asked to be let out. There was a row when the men refused to let them go and the X-Trail hit another car.
The driver of the other car reversed towards the men but he backed off after a firearm was allegedly pointed at him. He has described seeing the men set fire to the X-Trail before running off, (“Farewell paddle-out for surfer,” Echo, May 16).
Provincial police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk said Mr Williams was arrested after a special task team comprising police and a private security firm was appointed.