R6m debt behind Centurion shooting

2012-03-30 11:42
Cape Town - The man who shot himself and three other men just three days after his 65th birthday in Centurion armed himself to meet his victims with a pistol, eight magazines full of ammunition and a .22 revolver.

Despite this, Pieter Fourie, a colleague of the victims, said on Thursday: “Everything went well. No one was angry at anyone.

“Why the shooting happened we do not know.”

Martin van Deventer shot Johan Griessel, 50, Pieter Erasmus, 53, and Wimpie van Heerden, 56, on Wednesday at Du Randt and Richards, a firm of attorneys in Zwartkop, Centurion, before shooting himself.

Property deal

Griessel and Erasmus reportedly owed Van Deventer R6m after they had bought his land near Strubenvale, Springs, for R12m for a property development, said their attorney, Louis du Randt, on Thursday.

Van Heerden advised both parties. Du Randt said the remaining R6m was contractually due to Van Deventer only when the development was under way.

Deon Beukman, Van Deventer’s attorney, and Fourie agreed that the development had yet commenced.

Mayborn Investments 75 - of which Griessel and Erasmus were directors - would have managed the development, named Villa Valy Residential Estate.

Beukman said a couple of walls had been erected, but no homes had been built yet.

This was reportedly because certain documentation still had to be approved.

Fourie said the development had been dragging for three years because of a delay in the estate’s establishment.

Wednesday's meeting was to sort out some aspects of the development between Griessel, Erasmus and Van Deventer, said Fourie.

No money to pay

Beukman said did not know that Van Deventer was armed when he went into the meeting.

Beukman said Van Deventer shot the three developers when they told him: “There is no money to pay you.”

Van Deventer allegedly asked Griessel, Erasmus and Van Heerden: “Are you sure? Because those are your last words.”

Van Deventer then shot each man in the head. He then stood over their bodies and shot them again before taking his own life.

Seven shots were reportedly fired, but this could not be confirmed by police spokesperson Annabelle Middleton.

Beukman said he did not know Van Deventer very well and did not know what his financial position was.

Van Deventer, who lived in Somerset West, had travelled to Pretoria on Tuesday, where he reportedly owned another property.

He was unmarried and had a son from a previous marriage.

His partner, who lived in Gordon's Bay, did not want to speak to the media on Thursday.

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