Farmer, son in court for murder

2011-12-08 09:34

kalahari.com

Pretoria - A farmer and his son will appear in the North Gauteng High Court on Thursday on charges of murder.

The bodies of Morris Morua, 36, and Zacharia Leso, 34, were found on Douw de Beer's game farm after they were shot for allegedly hunting illegally.

Counsel for the De Beers said on Wednesday that they would apply for a discharge on the murder and theft counts.

On Wednesday, Captain Nick Pitsoane, the investigating officer, testified that the only human remains found on the farm, near Boschkop, in North West, in April 2004 were 10 small bones.

This was not enough for a funeral, he said.

De Beer, 51, and his 19-year-old son Dylan have pleaded not guilty to two charges of murder and a charge of stealing Morua's cellphone.

De Beer snr has pleaded guilty to a charge of defeating the ends of justice by burning the bodies of the victims.

He said in a statement that he was shocked when he saw the bodies and decided to burn them to protect his son, who was at that stage still a minor, from being arrested.

Self-defence

De Beer jnr admitted to shooting the men, but said in a statement that he acted in self-defence because a group of illegal hunters had fired shots at him.

Pitsoane said he could find no trace of other people allegedly involved in the shoot-out.

He said a 9mm magazine found at the scene was traced back to Morua's registered 9mm pistol, but that the police could find no trace of the firearm, although they found ammunition in his safe.

They could also find no trace of Morua's cellphone, which was allegedly thrown into a dam.

Pitsoane said he was aware that hunting was allowed on tribal land near De Beer's farm, but that hunters first had to apply for permits.

Leso's nephew Poppy Leso testified that his uncle had told him he was going to look for cattle with Morua when he left home on his donkey cart that Saturday.

He later found the donkey cart outside a cattle camp, but his uncle never returned home.

Jacob Morua also testified that his uncle, who was in the army, had left in his camouflage uniform that day to search for cattle, but never returned.

- SAPA
Read more on:    mahikeng
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