WATCH | Justice is served - eight shocking murder trials in 2018

20 December 2018 - 07:05 By Odwa Mjo

South Africa has seen a significant number of murder cases in 2018 that have dominated conversations and sparked protests.

According to SAPS crime statistics, 20,336 murders were reported in 2017/2018. The cases ranged from gender-based violence, child abuse, hijackings and family bloodbaths. Here are eight murder stories that captured the country's attention - and ultimately resulted in justice being served. 

1. Hannah Cornelius 

In November, three men were given life sentences after being found guilty of kidnapping, robbing, raping and murdering Stellenbosch University student Hannah Cornelius in May last year. 

Vernon Witbooi, Geraldo Parsons and Eben Van Niekerk each received two life sentences. A fourth suspect, Nashville Julius, received 22 years' imprisonment for robbery and kidnapping. 

2. Van Breda family murders 

Henri Van Breda was found guilty of axing three of his family members to death and severely injuring his younger sibling at their home in a gated community family in Stellenbosch in 2015. 

Van Breda was given three life sentences and 15 additional years, which he will serve concurrently.

3. Karabo Mokoena

Sandile Mantsoe was found guilty of murdering his 22-year-old girlfriend Karabo Mokoena in 2017. 

Mantsoe was sentenced to 32 years of imprisonment for assault, murder and burning Mokoena's body. 

4. Gabriela Albans 

Guatemalan national Diego Novella was found guilty in June of killing his American girlfriend Gabriela Alban in Camps Bay, Cape Town, in 2015.

Novella was sentenced to 20 years in the Cape Town High Court. In his testimony, he said he killed his girlfriend at the Camps Bay Retreat boutique hotel believing that she was possessed by a demon.

5. Cameron Wilson

Cameron Wilson received four life sentences for the murders of four young women in Cape Town.

He shocked many as he cheerfully clapped after the handing down of his sentence.  

6. Courtney Pieters 

Mortimer Saunders was convicted of killing and raping three-year-old Courtney Pieters in her mother's home in Elsies River in Cape Town and later disposing her body in an industrial area. 

Saunders was sentenced to two life terms in December after killing the three-year-old in 2017.

7. Susan Rohde

Jason Rohde was found guilty of murdering his wife at the Spier wine estate in Stellenbosch in 2016. He killed his wife in their hotel room and staged it as a suicide.

After a lengthy trial, the Cape Town High Court found that she had died from manual strangulation. 

8. Krugersdorp murders 

School teacher Marina Steyn was sentenced to 11 life sentences in the South Gauteng High Court in May for a killing spree in Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg, that claimed the lives of 11 people between 2012 and 2016. Her son Le Roux Steyn was sentenced to 25 years in prison.