Killers of Mpumalanga farmer found guilty

09 September 2015 - 22:19
By RDM News Wire

The killers of Mpumalanga farmer Sarel Janse van Rensburg‚ 75‚ who was murdered on September 18 2014 on the farm Froggy Pond in the Tonteldoos district‚ were on Wednesday found guilty by acting Judge Andries Lambrechts in the Middelburg Magistrates Court.

Papiki Mokwena and Eric Mtombeni were both found guilty of murder‚ armed robbery and the possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Mokwena was out on bail when the attack took place.

Both of the accused pleaded not guilty on all charges.

The court dismissed the testimony of the accused after they argued in court that the blood of the deceased had landed on their clothes after they were apparently taken to the scene by the police to perform a point out in the house.

Judge Lambrechts said the blood could only have come into contact with their clothes if they had personally attacked and murdered the victim.

“Justice does in fact take place and even though my father cannot be returned to us‚ I feel and hope that they will sit for life‚ seeing as these men are unapproachable and dangerous‚” said Claudine Van Wyk‚ daughter of the victim.

An employee on the farm testified earlier in the case that he had approached the farmhouse at teatime just after 10:00 on the morning of September 18 last year. However‚ when nobody answered‚ he went inside and found a bloodied Janse van Rensburg in the bathroom.

The police arrived on the scene shortly after the grisly discovery‚ and arrested one of the suspects not long after their arrival. The other accused was tracked down and found hiding in the bush.

Several stolen items were found in their possession.

Janse van Rensburg‚ who sustained serious head wounds during the attack‚ was already dead when the police arrived. The safe was cut open with an angle grinder and a firearm and cash were stolen.

Lorraine Claasen‚ a criminologist at AfriForum who attended the verdict‚ said she was “thankful for the verdict.”

“Even though the sentencing will not return their father‚ they can still continue knowing that the murderers are behind bars. There are lots of families that are not so lucky‚” she said.

Claudine van Wyk is expected to testify in support of a tougher penalty before sentencing takes place on Thursday.

RDM News Wire.