Two men accused of gunning down a 12-year-old girl in her home denied in the Port Elizabeth High Court yesterday that they were ever there.
Nealon Redhouse, 18, and Deon “Kwas” Harmse, 24, face charges of murder, attempted murder and illegal possession of a firearm, among others, relating to the death of Aaliyah “Angel” Tee and the attempted murder of her father, Edmund.
Redhouse and Harmse denied any involvement in the shooting on June 7 last year, when they allegedly forced their way into the Bethelsdorp house of Edmund and Candice Tee before opening fire on the family, killing Aaliyah and seriously wounding her father.
Redhouse told the court the Tees, both of whom identified him and Harmse as the shooters, had mistaken them as the assailants after they heard rumours that the two of them were planning a hit on the family.
Both testified that in the days leading up to the incident Edmund had confronted them about rumours that there was a planned hit on the family.
This was after Candice and Edmund had witnessed a shooting that claimed the life of well-known gang boss Donovan “Staal” Berry a month before.
“We laughed it off – thought he was making a joke,” Redhouse said.
Earlier in the trial, police officer Sergeant Conrad Goosen testified that Redhouse and Harmse, along with two other men, were accused of Berry’s murder.
Both accused also deny any involvement in Berry’s murder.
Redhouse denied being a member of any gang, although it emerged he had tattoos associated with the 26’s prison gang.
The court also heard that when Redhouse was arrested at a friend’s home, he was found under a bed along with the firearm used to kill Aaliyah.
Also under the bed were cartridge cases and bulletproof vests.
Redhouse denied this, saying he had not been under the bed at all.
Harmse testified that on the night he was arrested he had been assaulted by “army men wearing balaclavas”. He alleged that his finger had been broken and he had sustained an injury to the back of his head.
He also claimed his girlfriend was assaulted and her home, where he was arrested, was ransacked.
“They told me I was a child murderer,” Harmse told the court.
The case was postponed to December 14.