Accused killer's plea explanation rejected

2012-05-08 11:07
Johannesburg - The plea explanation of a man accused of murdering three people with a pick was rejected by the South Gauteng High Court, Beeld reported on Tuesday.

Gerrit van Tonder, 33, faces three charges of murder and one of attempted murder for the April 2008 attack on elderly couple Olivier and Susanna Henning, their employee Solome Sethole and her teenage son, William Roger Sethole.

Van Tonder allegedly attacked them with a pick at the Kruin-uiltjie nursery school in Kempton Park. Parents who arrived the next morning to drop off their children suspected something was amiss and called the police.

Olivier Henning and Solome Sethole died at the scene, and Susanna Henning died later in hospital. William Sethole survived the attack.

After negotiating with the State, Van Tonder offered the court a plea explanation, but after questioning him on Monday, Judge Jeffery Mathaba told Van Tonder on Monday the court could not accept it.

The trial is expected to start in July. Van Tonder has been in custody since his arrest in April 2008.

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