Killer Johan Nel weds in jail

10 February 2012 - 04:30 By Mogomotsi Selebi

Racist killer Johan Nel married this week, but he cannot touch nor embrace his bride.

Nel married Maryna Naudé, believed to be 18, at the Ramochana prison in Rustenburg, North West.

He is serving four life sentences in maximum security for the 2008 murder of four black people in Skierlik informal settlement near Swaartruggens.

Nel shocked the world when he went on a shooting spree, killing Sivuyile Peyi, 37, Annah Moiphitlhi, 31, Elizabeth Moiphitlhi, three months old, and Tshepo Motshelanoka, 10. He injured eight others.

Unlike his murder trial - which drew massive public and media attention - Nel's wedding was low-key. There were no friends or extended family members in attendance.

The only people who witnessed the nuptials were Nel's parents, his in-laws, a priest and a social worker.

Department of Correctional Services spokesman Sarie Peens confirmed the marriage.

"Yes it is true that he is married. It was not a very long ceremony and could have taken about half an hour at the most.

"He was allowed to wear his private clothes and immediately after the ceremony, the families left and he went back to his prison clothes."

Asked if Nel would be allowed conjugal rights, Peens said: "Not at all. He is a prisoner and that means he cannot have any contact with her. He will not have any conjugal rights."

Nel is not allowed any contact visits. He will have to be reclassified and move from maximum security to a general section before he can have contact with visitors.

Nel can be moved to the general section on the basis of good behaviour.

"He is serving four life sentences, so we cannot put a timeframe on it," Peens said.

Emily Moiphitlhi, whose daughter Annah and granddaughter Elizabeth were murdered by Nel, wished the newlyweds luck.

"I wish them well and may God bless their marriage," Moiphitlhi said, with forced laughter.

Dikeledi Motshelanoka, who lost her nephew Tshepo in the attack, was upset.

"It seems that even in prison this guy still has freedom. I doubt that any black person would be afforded such rights," she said.

The Kgetleng Rivier municipality, under whose jurisdiction Skierlik falls, said it had no comment about Nel's wedding.

"We hope his time in prison has helped him transform into a better person. What happened in Skierlik was very painful and we would like to move on and put it behind us.

"It will do us no good dwelling on what happened in the past," the municipality said.