Accused told ex he had killed Stellenbosch doctor, court hears

2015-05-11 18:22
Dr. Louis Heyns

Dr. Louis Heyns

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Cape Town - The former girlfriend of the man accused of murdering Stellenbosch academic and paediatrician Dr Louis Heyns has told the court her ex had admitted to her to killing a man that day.

Johanna Solomon from Malmesbury on Monday testified in the Western Cape High Court that murder accused Marthinus van der Walt confided in her that he had killed a man, who he had not initially known was a doctor.

Van der Walt is charged with hijacking, kidnapping and murder.

It is alleged that Heyns, 59, was hijacked and murdered after leaving his brother’s Somerset West home on May 22 2013.

But according to the affidavit read on Monday by Van der Walt’s lawyer Gert Fourie, Heyns met Marthinus and his brother Sarel on Strand beach that day. According to the sworn statement, Heyns requested sexual favours and Marthinus agreed, following him into a bushy area.

Solomon told the court that Marthinus’s mother had moved into her home in February 2013 after she and her son were kicked out of a local shelter.

He too had lived in her home for two months.

At about 04:20 on May 23 2013, hours after Heyns was reported missing, Solomon said Marthinus phoned her and asked if he and his brother Sarel could come by for coffee.

“I opened the door for them and they went to see their mother in her room,” she said.

He returned the next night and asked for bread, which she gave him, Solomon testified.

Van der Walt then apparently told her he was going to fetch something outside and when she looked out from her front door, she saw the tail lights of a car driving off.

Neither Marthinus nor Sarel owned a car.

Solomon said she was unable to confirm the model of the vehicle.

Later that day, he phoned Solomon and asked her to ask Sarel to come by her house.

“When Sarel arrived he was nervous and started scratching in my cupboards. I asked him what he was looking for and he told me he was looking for a calming tablet,” she said.

“When I asked him why he needed it, he said: ‘God, want Tiaan het ‘n man vrek gemaak’ [...because Tiaan killed a man]".

She alleged Sarel told her his brother had hit the man "in the throat" and, after the victim collapsed, had stood on the victim's head.

Car jack

When Marthinus arrived later, the two argued after Sarel allegedly refused to sell a car jack at a nearby scrapyard, belonging to Juan Liedeman. The latter pleaded guilty to a charge of not having reasonable cause to believe the stolen car was properly acquired. Police found the victim's car in Liedeman's possession.

Solomon further testified that Marthinus told Sarel: "Ons vang saam kak aan, maar as die ding dik raak dan draai jy jou rug [We do shit together, but when things get difficult, you turn your back].”

Marthinus had arrived without a car, Solomon said, as he needed Sarel to sell the jack to get petrol money.

Later that day, she sent Marthinus an SMS telling him that Sarel had told her he had killed someone.

“He replied: ‘Jy glo ook als wat ander sê [you believe everything people tell you].”

Solomon testified she asked him about the incident again the next Wednesday.

“I asked him how and why he had done it. He said he had hit the man in the throat and while he was laying there he saw [evidence indicating] he was a doctor,” she said.

Solomon said she visited Marthinus after his arrest, and he told her he had tossed Heyns’s SIM card and bank cards in Khayelitsha.

Earlier, Heyns’s wife Dalene told the court she never had any reason to doubt her husband's sexuality or fidelity during their 33 years of marriage.

Both Marthinus and Sarel, 43, were initially accused of killing Heyns. Sarel pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to the murder and theft. He reached a plea bargain with the State last year and is currently serving a seven-year sentence.

He also entered a plea bargain and sentencing agreement and was handed a R10 000 fine or five years behind bars. Half the fine and sentence were suspended for five years. 

Marthinus has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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