Old grudge’ behind St Ives punch 

Speaking under cross-examination on Monday, Howick man Grant Seaward, facing culpable homicide charges after his punch allegedly claimed Coetzee’s life, said there had long been bad blood between the two of them. He told magistrate Bhekizitha Phoswa that their relationship got off on the wrong foot a decade earlier when he was working at Pick n Pay.

“Coetzee had been caught shoplifting – and when I got a job at Greendale Spar, he tried to badmouth me by telling my superiors that I was the dishonest one,” said Seaward.

He said he was later vindicated after a reference check was done on him.

On the fateful day on September 3 last year, he said he’d had to contend with constant taunts from Coetzee.

“We were in the bar at St Ives and Coetzee was at a table nearby drinking beer,” recalled Seaward.

He described Coetzee’s attitude as “aggressive”. “He also warned me that he was going to get his sons to f***k me up,” he said.

Seaward, who is pleading not guilty to the charges against him, said he and his wife decided to go home as the situation was untenable.  But when he encountered Coetzee at the exit, more profanities were hurled at him. “He was shouting out insults and swearing at my wife and I, and calling her a white k****r, among other things,” said Seaward.

In his defence, he only resorted to punching Coetzee just to “put him down”.

“I would never have punched anyone with the intention of killing them. Even the detective who was investigating the case asked me to show them my fist,” said Seaward. He added that when he later got a call to say Coetzee was dead, he did not believe it.

The case re-convenes on 17 October, when defence witness David Muil takes to the stand.

 

 

  AUTHOR
Mfundo Mkhize

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