Woman in court after hotel death of American

CAPE TIMES

THE woman who allegedly murdered an American businessman at the Holiday Inn Hotel at the V&A Waterfront earlier this month, was tracked down and arrested after police linked her fingerprints at the scene to another case. Neziswa Khumalo, 34, of Parow was arrested at the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court for the murder when she appeared charged with the possession of stolen property. paul Gillis, 36, was found dead at the Waterfront Holiday Inn on September 9. Traces of toxic substances were found in his blood during a post-mortem. The Schedule 5 substance, which cannot be named because the case is still sub judice, might have acted as a sedative resulting in his death. Gillis, a salesman for irrigation company Underhill International, was in Cape Town on a business trip. His body was found after he had missed business meetings and colleagues made inquiries. Hotel staff unlocked his room door and found his body in his bed. Police later discovered that his laptop, camera and credit cards were missing. They suspected a sex worker syndicate had been luring men to hotel rooms and stealing their possessions, after it was discovered that Gillis was the third victim of crimes of a similar pattern. Khaumalo was arrested on Friday and appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court yesterday, where the case was transferred to the regional court for a bail application. In court yesterday, the prosecutor Merle Engelbrecht told the court that Khumalo had one pending case involving the possession of stolen property. She said a date had been arranged for a bail application in the Cape Town Regional Court and added that the State would oppose bail. She said Khumalo faced charges of murder and robbery. In court Khumalo stood in the dock with her arms folded. She wore a blue tracksuit and green poloneck jersey and her hair had been styled in braids. Her attorney, Reaz Khan of Mathewson Gess Attorneys, confirmed the date of the bail hearing and said he did not wish to add anything. According to the charge sheet, the State alleges that Khumalo assaulted Gillis before robbing him, and then later murdered him at the Holiday Inn at the V&A Waterfront between September 7 and 9. On a page attached to the charge sheet, senior prosecutor David Jacobs said that he had considered the seriousness of the case as well as its media profile before directing it to the regional court for a bail application. Meanwhile, police are investigating the possibility that more than one person was involved. However, police spokeswoman Mary Martins-Engelbrecht said it was too soon to elaborate on the matter. The bail hearing is expected on October 8.