Five in court for robbing missing German tourist

Five men appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court this week facing robbery charges. They were allegedly found in possession of items belonging to missing German tourist Nick Frischke. Picture: Mthuthuzeli Ntseku/Cape Argus

Five men accused of robbing missing tourist Nick Frischke appeared in court this week as a German broadcaster reported that one of them had confessed to having a hand in robbing and stabbing him.

Three of the men appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Monday and the case was rolled over to Tuesday when the other two joined them for a brief appearance before magistrate Goolam Bowa who asked that the names of the accused not appear in the media.

The case was postponed to Monday March 6 for further investigation.

According to provincial police spokesman Colonel Andre Traut the accused, aged from 20 to 25, are all facing a charge of robbery after stolen property, believed to belong to Mr Frischke, was found in their possession.

Two of the men were arrested on Tuesday February 21 and the other three on Thursday February 23.

“Among the stolen items was a credit card in the name of Nick Frischke, and other belongings, and we have reason to believe that the suspects came into possession of the property during a robbery.”

Meanwhile, the search continues for the 22-year-old from Döbern, Brandenburg who disappeared on Wednesday February 15. He was last seen when a CCTV camera picked him up walking towards the start of the Karbonkelberg hiking trail.

RTL News in Germany reported that one of the accused had allegedly admitted to police that a fellow accused had stabbed Mr Frischke.

However, Colonel Traut, said: “At this premature stage, we will refrain from speculating about possible outcomes or disclosing information that is crucial for the investigation.”

Colonel Traut said an integrated search for Mr Frischke was still under way.

Hout Bay Community Police Forum chairman Anthony Chemaly said in a statement on Tuesday that Mr Frischke’s backpack and cellphone had been recovered as well as a knife.

“Despite intensive questioning and following up of information from the suspects, there is still no sign of the missing hiker,” said Mr Chemaly.

Meanwhile, in Germany, a Paypal account has been opened to raise 19 000 euros (about R370 000) to support Mr Frischke’s family and local aid organisations in their search. As of Monday, the donations pledged stood at 13 321 euros, just over R260 000.

The Cape Argus reports that after a CPF update on the court proceedings, Mr Frischke’s father, Andre Hallwas, took to social media expressing frustration over the lack of communication from the local authorities, adding that “communication has gotten worse these past few days”.

“I think it’s terrible that you get important messages from the newspaper or here on Facebook. It would certainly be helpful for us parents, to talk to us beforehand,” he said, adding, “We still hope that it will end well.”

Mr Hallwas said there were currently no plans as yet for the family to come to Cape Town.