Man guilty of double murder

2012-05-08 22:39

Pretoria - A man was convicted in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday of murdering his former employers on their farm.

Judge Cynthia Pretorius found Akona Innocent Gini, 30, guilty of killing dairy farmer Johannes van den Bosch, 63, and his wife Jacobi, 60, on their farm at Mooiplaats, east of Pretoria in April 2009.

Gini was also convicted on a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances for robbing the couple of their cellphones and a set of keys.

Gini's trial started afresh after the previous trial judge, Judge Belinda Molamo, died in August last year.

Gini previously worked for the couple, but was fired six months before their murder, following a burglary at the farm.

The Van den Bosches, who had 12 children and 27 grandchildren, moved to South Africa in 1982 to run a dairy farm. Their son Wim, who still lives on the farm, discovered their bodies.

Van den Bosch was bludgeoned to death while tending to calves in the dairy on his farm. His wife died inside their home after being stabbed several times.

Cellphone records led police to an address in Witbank, where they found Gini's wife, Violet, in possession of Johannes van den Bosch's cellphone, with a different simcard inside.

Violet Gini gave police information leading to her husband's arrest in a squatter camp near Witbank. He had Jacobi van den Bosch's cellphone in his pocket at the time of his arrest.

Gini later pointed out the scene of the crime to the police.

Rights

In court he claimed police had never explained his right to silence and had assaulted him. Gini denied the pointing out and that he had said anything to the police.

Pretorius found that his rights had been explained to him, he was not coerced in any way and that the pointing out had been free and voluntary.

She also rejected Gini's claim that he had an alibi for the murders, because this claim was made during cross-examination for the first time and was not supported by his wife or any other witness.

Pretorius described Gini as a dishonest, untruthful and evasive witness who had changed his evidence to suit the facts.

Although there was only circumstantial evidence linking Gini to the murders, his alibi could not be entertained seriously and there was no other reasonable conclusion but that Gini had committed the crimes.

Van den Bosch's son Wim, who attended with three of his brothers and a sister, told reporters the murders had paralysed him and left him feeling totally helpless.

He still relived, in the finest details, finding his parents' bodies every day of his life and felt no therapist could adequately empathise with his position.

"He must definitely serve out his punishment... There's no reason for me to ever look him in the eyes again," he said.

The trial was postponed to June 4 for further police evidence, after Gini refused to admit to his four previous convictions for housebreaking.

- SAPA

Read more on:    farm attacks
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