Stole gun from pal to have his dad killed, court told

Date: 08 Jun 2007
A young man who had his father shot dead because of their bad relationship, stole the murder weapon from a family friend. This was alleged in the Cape High Court, where John Paul Titus is on trial for the murder of his father, Norman. Family friend Ismail Smith told Judge Dennis van Reenen and two assessors his firearm went missing after he had given Titus and a woman friend a lift home in May, 2003. Smith said Titus sat on the front passenger seat and, in Titus’s presence, Smith removed his firearm from under his belt and placed it under Titus’s seat. Titus picked up the firearm and discussed it with Smith, before Smith took it back from Titus and placed it back under Titus's seat. Smith said it was only after he got home himself, and had dropped off Titus and his woman companion, he realized his firearm was missing. Smith said Titus at first denied he had taken it, but later owned up to it. Smith said he never ever recovered the firearm, and was prosecuted for the negligent loss of it. Questioned by defence counsel Patrick Scott, Smith said he did not press a theft charge against Titus, because of his close relationship with Titus’s father. The case continues on Tuesday next week. By Bert van Hees The Citizen 08/06/07