Tow trucker freed on bail


The State has a weak case against the owner of a tow-truck company accused of murdering a driver from a rival company, the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court has said. Magistrate Alfreda Lewis found yesterday that it was in the interests of justice to release Chris Olieslager, 40, of Maitland, on bail of R2000. Olieslager, who is accused of stabbing Linley Summers, 45, to death, may not contact State witnesses. Lewis quoted the investigating officer, Warrant Officer Mark Vermeulen, as saying that so far Olieslager was linked to the crime only by the evidence of Summers’s son, 15. Summers and Olieslager responded to the same accident scene in Maitland on June 15. The court heard that Summers’s son, who was sitting in another vehicle with his back to what was happening, had seen Olieslager put what he thought was a knife into a black pouch and the pouch into his pocket before leaving the scene. Lewis said: “The court finds that the State does not have a strong prima facie case… The State has a witness who is not a real eye witness.” The State would have problems proving murder based on circumstantial evidence. It might have had a better case if the charge were culpable homicide, Lewis said. The case resumes on August 30.

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