Tragic couple’s last moments

DRAMATIC details of the brutal  slaying of a young Port Elizabeth couple in Marine Drive early this year were spelt out in court yesterday.  Owen Demingo, 31,  and Sarah-Jane Oliphant, 22,   were hijacked, kidnapped  and forced to withdraw money from an ATM, and then executed and dumped on the side of the road – all for R5900, plus the cash from the sale of the sound system.


This emerged in the Port Elizabeth High Court  in the indictment against the four  accused.


The men’s exceptionally speedy trial  has been hailed in the high court as  testimony to the hard work and dedication of the team of detectives who closed the case within two days after the murders and  prepared the docket for trial within five months. It is the third  case to be heard in the high court this year where the victims have been hijacked in parking areas at community centres and kidnapped.


Andrico Williams, 21, ofCleary Estate, Shannon Mopp, 25, of Bethelsdorp, Junaid van Vught, 27, also from Cleary Estate, and Justin Maurice Najoe, 22, of Bloemendal, pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges of murder, armed robbery, kidnapping and the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.


According to the indictment,  Demingo, of Palmridge,  and Oliphant, of Bethelsdorp, were sitting in Demingo’s car at the Bloemendal Community Centre in the early hours of January 29.


The state alleges the four men  obtained a 7.65 semi-automatic pistol from Altaaf Swartz the previous day.


On the day of the murder, they allegedly approached the couple, opened the car’s  doors, forced Demingo and Oliphant  into the boot and drove to Marine Drive. They allegedly stopped on the way and forced Demingo to withdraw R900 from his bank account.


The men are accused of stealing Demingo’s car, a Volkswagen Polo, two cellphones, three gold rings, a pair of Nike takkies, two watches, a jacket,  a pair of sunglasses, a pair of reading glasses and R900.The couple were both shot in the head – Demingo first and, a short while later, Oliphant.
Their bodies were dumped alongside the road.


They  were found 8.7km apart by passing cyclists shortly after 5.30am. Demingo’s body was  found first behind the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University  and Oliphant’s near Three Pools, covered with a blue blanket.


The trial will begin in January next year. The men’s legal team  indicated  they  did not wish to explain the reasons for their not guilty pleas. They will remain in custody.
Meanwhile, two men who admitted  hiding Demingo’s vehicle in a garage and selling the wheels and mags, pleaded guilty in the high court yesterday to theft of a motor vehicle.
Marquin  Jurgens and Benito Draghoender will be sentenced in August.


In a plea explanation, Jurgens  said he had received a call from Van Vught on January 29.


“He asked to meet me. I saw Williams and Mopp sitting in a red Volkswagen Polo. Van Vught told me  the vehicle had been stolen.  Williams said  he already had a buyer for the sound system. They wanted R5000 for the car.


“I took the vehicle to Draghoender’s house. I told him we must sell it and share the profit. We sold the mag wheels and tyres for R1200.


“I had no idea where the vehicle came from. I also told the police what I had overheard about the firearm used in the incident. It  led to the recovery of the firearm.”


Jurgens has a previous conviction for theft for which he was sentenced to correctional supervision in 2001. Draghoender is a first offender. Both men are out on bail.


Earlier this year, Adrian Saulse and Chainey Nelson were sentenced to life imprisonment for hijacking a couple outside the Booysens Park Community Centre in 2009. After assaulting the man, the woman was gang-raped for hours.


Saulse, Nelson and Marcus George have also been convicted of hijacking a couple parked at the same centre a few months later.  They killed  Bevan  Williams and   gang-raped his date for hours.

4 thoughts on “Tragic couple’s last moments

  • January 19, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Kill Kill Kill, it’s that simple, even though I don’t believe our state justice system is capable nor fit to be responsible enough to dish out a penalty as severe as the death penalty, I still want it brought back into the system!

  • November 26, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    If 2 of the accused were already serving life sentencesw why were they on tyhe streets????????/

  • September 11, 2014 at 9:01 am

    What is the point of putting people like this in jail for many years? They will never ever contribute to society! The taxpayer has to pay for their upkeep endlessly!Ironically they will get better medical treatment than many innocent poor citizens of this city.Let them pay for their evil crimes swinging at the end of a rope. The families of their victims deserve that!

  • September 11, 2014 at 8:47 am

    We must bring back the death penalty. People like these have failed their responsibility as human bring and thus have forfeited their right to life. Their end should mark a beginning. A beginning of harsher punishment of offenders. If they don’t get hanged by the state, then I hope they get prison raped, and shanked to death. They deserve to die like cockroaches.


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