Xander Bylsma handed two life sentences for killing school teens

07 August 2020 - 16:26 By Shonisani Tshikalange
Xander Bylsma appears for sentencing in the North West High Court for double murder on August 5 2020 in Mahikeng, South Africa.
Xander Bylsma appears for sentencing in the North West High Court for double murder on August 5 2020 in Mahikeng, South Africa.
Image: Gallo Images/Beeld/Felix Dlangamandla

Xander Bylsma, who murdered two teenage girls in the hostel at Hoërskool Stella, was given two life sentences in the North West high court on Friday.

Police spokesperson Sabata Mokgwabone said Bylsma was also declared unfit to possess a firearm in terms of section 103 of the Firearms Control Act.

Xander Bylsma has been found guilty of the deaths of Marna Engelbrecht, 17, and Sharnelle Hough, 16, in May 2018.
Xander Bylsma has been found guilty of the deaths of Marna Engelbrecht, 17, and Sharnelle Hough, 16, in May 2018.
Image: Facebook

The conviction of Bylsma, 22, followed the deaths of Marna Engelbrecht, 17, and Sharnelle Hough, 16, who were killed at the hostel near Vryburg on May 21 2018.

Their bodies were discovered by the hostel matron. Their deaths, by strangulation, had been made to look like suicides.

Bylsma was 19 at the time.

North West provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Sello Kwena welcomed the sentences and applauded detectives for positively linking the accused with the crimes.

He said the sentence would send a clear message that gender-based violence would not be tolerated, and that those who carried out such deeds would be shown no mercy.

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