November 14 2008 at 08:58AM
By Karen Breytenbach
A suspect in a fatal robbery at a Gordon's Bay golf estate went on trial in the Cape High Court on Thursday, while two alleged accomplices are still on the run.
The state alleges that Rhanya Mthelo and two other men broke into Peter Howel's house in Waikiki Street on the night of December 15, 2005 and attacked the pensioner and his wife, Pamela, in their bedroom.
The state alleges Mthelo and his companions demanded money from the couple.
Peter Howel was beaten with a crowbar and his wife stabbed with a sharp object. She managed to escape and shouted for help.
Mthelo and his companions allegedly fled on foot, taking with them a television set and a handbag.
Mthelo was arrested a few months later after he was linked to the robbery by finger and palm prints.
Howel, a former pension broker, spent some time in hospital. On his discharge he and his wife stayed with their son Jeremy in Hout Bay to recuperate.
But Howel died a few days later.
The state alleges Mthelo and the other two acted with common purpose.
Pamela Howel testified yesterday that the gang damaged a window frame to get into her home.
Her son, Jeremy, testified that his father still had red marks and considerable bruising on his body when he died.
He said his father had built the house intending to retire there.
This article was originally published on page 4 of Cape Times on November 14, 2008