Three skelms accused of robbing a man and then cutting off his head and dumping his body in a suitcase at a train station are set to make their first appearance at the Western Cape High Court this month.
Nearly a year after cops launched a manhunt for the main suspect, Riefaat Loofer, in connection with the murder of Prevan Pillay, the Daily Voice can reveal that Loofer was found hiding under a bridge in Woodstock among a group of homeless mense.
Pillay was last seen on 23 December 2020 leaving his home in Pinelands in his white Toyota Hilux bakkie.
The bumper of the vehicle was later found in Sunbird Park, but the bakkie was never recovered.
A week later, cops were called to Hazendal Train Station in Athlone where a mutilated body was found in a suitcase.
Staff at the station said they saw a man dragging a large travel case to the subway and setting it alight.
They rushed over to put out the fire and the suspect ran away.
That is when they discovered that the suitcase contained a dismembered body, with the head and one arm missing.
DNA tests confirmed it to be Prevan’s body. Sadly, his head has still not been found.
During the investigation, officers from the Provincial Organised Crime Unit first busted Franklin van Niekerk, 52, at his home in Elsies River in February last year.
Two months later they returned and arrested Glenville Jansen, 53. The duo appeared in the Athlone Magistrates’ Court and were remanded in custody.
According to a Daily Voice source, Loofer evaded arrest for nearly eight months until he was found in Woodstock.
“He was the main suspect and went on the run after he found out the cops were looking for him,” says the source.
“A picture of his face was circulated and at this stage it appears that the motive for the murder is robbery.
“When he was found, he was living like a bergie under a bridge in Woodstock among other bergies to avoid being detected or recognised and he is also now in Pollsmoor.”
Police spokesperson, Captain FC Van Wyk, confirms the arrest of the trio and says they will appear at the High Court on 27 May for their first pre-trial hearing.
The three face charges of murder, robbery and defeating the ends of justice.
Van Wyk added that the head of the body has still not been located.