Stellenbosch doctor's murder case resumes

2015-05-14 05:31
The Western Cape High Court in Cape Town. (Paul Herman, News24)

The Western Cape High Court in Cape Town. (Paul Herman, News24)

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Cape Town - The trial of Marthinus van der Walt, accused of killing Stellenbosch paediatrician Dr Louis Heyns will continue in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

The State is expected to call its next witness when the trial resumes.

Van der Walt has pleaded not guilty to hijacking, kidnapping and murdering the paediatrician in May 2013.

In an affidavit read out this week, he claimed that Heyns requested sexual favours and he agreed, following him into a bushy area.

There Heyns had allegedly insulted and provoked Van der Walt, whereafter, he hit Heyns with his fist and kicked him. He swore that he did not intend to kill him.

The doctor's body was found in a shallow, sandy grave in a bushy area just off Beach Road.

Warrant Officer Hannes Niemand, who investigated officer, told the court on Wednesday that he had been under the impression that the area where Heyns's body was found was used for social braais and not for prostitution.

Niemand said they found an empty condom wrapper when digging in the sand near the grave. Officers also found used condoms scattered in the vicinity.

Heyns’s wife Dalene told the court earlier this week that she had never doubted or had any suspicions about his sexual behaviour or fidelity.

During his evidence-in-chief on Wednesday, Niemand explained that he used the doctor’s cellphone records to track down and arrest Marthinus, his brother Sarel van der Walt, 43, and Malmesbury businessperson and scrap yard owner Juan Liedeman.

He said Van der Walt became very emotional while being driven to Somerset West police station, saying he wanted to make his heart clean.

Niemand explained his rights and Van der Walt allegedly replied that he was prepared to take him to the body.

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.

Liedeman pleaded guilty to a charge of not having reasonable cause to believe the doctor’s stolen car was properly acquired.

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 reportedly suspended for five years on condition that he not be convicted of a similar crime.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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