SAA pilot's road rage murder case postponed

2015-05-22 12:07

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Johannesburg - The case against a South African Airways pilot who allegedly shot and killed another man during a suspected road rage attack on the East Rand was postponed on Friday.

Jacque Etienne van Tonder, 44, is out on bail of R10 000 for allegedly shooting Louis Janse van Rensburg, 53, in Bonaero Park in broad daylight on Wednesday, May 6.

The Kempton Park Magistrate's Court postponed the matter to July 24 due to an outstanding forensic report.

Dressed in a black suit and blue shirt, Van Tonder, who has served in the SA Air Force, stood in the dock as his lawyer Piet du Plessis agreed to the postponement. Du Plessis is also Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir's lawyer.

Van Tonder's petite wife, accompanied by four large men, sat quietly in the public gallery. As the group left the court, she stretched her hand out signalling she did not want to speak to a News24 reporter who tried to approach her.

'Road rage' incident

During his bail application at his last court appearance, it emerged that Van Tonder was driving his children, aged 14 and 10, to school on the morning of the shooting. After yielding at a street close to his house, he claimed to have noticed the driver of an Isuzu attracting his attention with hand gestures.

Van Tonder said he thought the bakkie driver had mistaken him for someone else or had noticed something wrong with his car.

Both men stopped. Van Rensburg got out of his bakkie and approached and spoke to Van Tonder, allegedly in a rude, aggressive manner and called him an idiot.

Van Tonder said he had seen nothing wrong with his driving and claimed Van Rensburg pulled him by his hair and punched him in the face through his half-opened window, in full view of his children who became hysterical.

He said he managed to pull his head from Van Rensburg's grip, but noticed that he wanted to unlock his door. Van Tonder's registered firearm, which he often carried, was close to the door.

‘Sudden’ shot

He always carried his gun when he travelled with his family as they had been victims of crime in their home and had been hijacked.

"Upon seeing the firearm in my hand, he tried to grab a hold of it," Van Tonder claimed.

A shot "suddenly" went off, fatally wounding his assailant.

Van Tonder said he called police from the scene and metro police officers arrived soon after. He indicated he would plead not guilty to the charge of murder he faces.

"I sincerely regret the death of the deceased, but had no intention of killing him," Van Tonder said in his affidavit.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  road rage

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