The mother of one of two men accused of the bloodbath which led to the death of three children and a teenager in a shack in Elsies River last month, hopes new information will clear his name.
Angelina Browers, 57, sat in the gallery of the Goodwood Magistrate’s Court on Friday where her son Peter Nokewes and co-accused Rowan Stuurman appeared on multiple murder and attempted murder charges relating to the massacre in Clarkes Estate on September 17.
The accused were expected to apply for bail but the application was postponed because prosecutor Quinton Appels told Magistrate Ricardo Phillips that the investigating officer had received new information on Thursday afternoon which the State needed to explore.
Browers greeted her son from the gallery as he was led back down to the holding cells after the case was postponed to October 25.
“I know my son didn’t do this,” she insisted.
“I have never hidden the things he had gotten up to, with God as my witness. He has been involved in gangsterism since he was 14. I gave my life to the Lord for help to deal with it. I have in the past told police when he had done wrong. But not this time. He was at home when those shots were fired.”
Nokewes and Stuurman were arrested within hours of the murders which the two mothers of the murdered children survived, even though they were shot.
Gunmen had kicked open the door of the structure that night, where Bianca Alexander and Mandy Samuels lay in a makeshift bedroom with Samuels’ daughter, Toslin, 10, between them.
The shooters are said to have opened fire indiscriminately. Locals claimed to have heard about 50 shots.
Bianca’s son, Adrian “AJ” Alexander, 12, was shot in the neck and Samuels’ son, Malcolm Junior “MJ” Samuels, 12, was shot in the face. The boys had fallen asleep on a couch opposite the doorway.
Vineto Africa, 19, was killed after he was shot in the face while lying on a bed in the same room as the boys. He is believed to have been the target of the shooting.
Toslin was shot and died instantly, while family members told News24 that the women had managed to escape when the shooters were forced to reload after running out of ammunition.
Both women are currently in protective custody.
Browers said her son had come home shortly before 9pm that night. He had locked the gate behind him, she claimed.
“He was laying in the house when we later heard the bullets being fired. We heard it all – we live close by, maybe 300m away,” she said.
Her son is no angel, Browers admitted.
“This magistrate knows him. He has appeared before him many times,” she said.
Phillips had indeed told Nokewes from the Bench that he had “appeared here before” when he granted the postponement, telling him he would be treated fairly as he had been in the past, despite the delay.
According to Browers, her son had been imprisoned before for petty crimes, but never charged with a crime as serious as murder.