SUSPECTED gangster Rodwell “Boef” Peters said yesterday he had not seen anything, let alone known that his alleged accomplices were robbing a Seaview home, despite being found by police cowering in a nearby bush.
The 31-year-old Peters painted himself as an innocent victim while testifying in the Port Elizabeth High Court about the house robbery of Adel van Rensburg on June 1 2013.
As his co-accused, Cedric Johnson, 29, testified the day before, he too was “peeing” during a pivotal moment in the robbery, rendering him incapable of taking part.
While admitting to being a former gangster, Peters said he had been reformed for several years by the time of the incident and worked for Endangered Species [an anti-gang organisation] as a motivational speaker denouncing gangsterism in all forms.
Peters and Johnson are being tried alongside Oscar Alexander, 31. A fourth man alleged to have been involved in the robbery, Allan de Sousa, died following a shoot-out with a security guard from Nitrous Security on the scene.
The three pleaded not guilty to charges including kidnapping, housebreaking, illegal firearm possession and murder.
Another former accused turned state witness, Ryno Botha, had befriended Van Rensburg on Facebook two days before the robbery, allegedly paving the way for Peters and his friends to rob her.
“Ryno [Botha] invited me to go to his girl [Van Rensburg] in Seaview. He asked her and showed me the message saying it was fine. Ryno told me he had some items [laptop, iPad and gold bracelet] he wanted to pun [sell] so I called Oscar because he had connections,” Peters said.
It was later decided that Johnson, Alexander and De Sousa would accompany Peters and Botha to Seaview. After collecting another car in Sherwood, the group made their way to Van Rensburg’s residence. “After Ryno dropped the other two [De Sousa and Johnson], he went to buy food. We [Peters and Alexander] parked in front of the garage. Adel opened for the other two to go in. We [Peters and Alexander] went to pee over a small wall in the front yard,” Peters said.
“I tried to call Ryno, but his phone was off . . . the next thing I heard was a loud sound followed by gunshots. I ran to the back closely followed by Oscar. We split. Oscar ran into the house while I went to hide in a bush in the backyard . . . I was arrested on that same spot.
“I didn’t see Johnson or De Sousa from the time they went into the garage until Johnson was being put into the police van . . .
“The first time I saw the gun was in the photo album in court. I don’t know anything of what happened in the house.”
-Tremaine van Aardt
This story appeared in Weekend Post on Saturday, 7 November, 2015 e-Edition