N2 highway attacker admits to crimes after conviction

2016-09-19 20:42
Cape Town Freeway

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Cape Town – After being convicted of murder on Monday, Adrian Hendricks suddenly admitted he was guilty of fatally stabbing a policeman who stopped to change a flat tyre on the N2 in Cape Town.

He offered an apology out of the blue after deciding to take the stand in mitigation of sentence in the Western Cape High Court.

This followed an argument by his lawyer Sheriff Mohamed that he was young, could be rehabilitated and was asking for forgiveness.

“I want to say I am sorry,” the baby-faced 22-year-old mumbled.

Hendricks previously denied he was responsible for killing Warrant Officer Petrus Johannes Burger Holz last July.

He maintained he had come across an injured Holz while walking along the highway to meet a friend at Meerlust farm. He claimed that he took Holz's possessions, but had nothing to do with the attack.

On Monday morning, the court found him guilty of murder (dolus eventualis), two counts of malicious damage to property, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and attempted robbery with aggravating circumstances.

The other charges related to an attack on Jacques Loots, who stopped to change a flat tyre on July 17 last year, after he drove over rocks that had been placed on the same stretch of highway.

Hendricks asked if he needed help, before stabbing him with a knife. Loots survived the attack.

A fright

After Hendricks had offered his apology, Judge Robert Henney asked him why he had lied to the court.

Hendricks admitted he thought he would get away with the crimes. He denied placing rocks in the road, but also said his friends had taught him how to do it.

Henney advised him to give his friends’ details and addresses to the investigating officer.

Biting his nails, Hendricks said he went to Holz’s car that day to see what was going on.

“I didn’t mean to stab him to death. I wanted to give him a fright.”

The officer’s relatives shook their heads and looked at each other in disbelief.

Arguing for a harsher sentence, prosecutor Marésa Engelbrecht said Hendricks had left the policeman for dead.

All of this was so he could sell Holz’s phone and GPS for his Tik (methamphetamine) habit, she said.

Had it not been for his arrest, he would likely have continued.

Sergeant Norman Ngonelo was called up to expand on his investigations into other attacks on the highway.

Firgrove bridge

He said the danger zone was a 7km stretch between Firgrove bridge, near Somerset West, and Baden Powell Drive.

The predominant modus operandi was to place rocks in the road, spring out of the bushes and attack motorists in a group to steal their possessions.

Most of the victims were female. Some were seriously injured.

He said eight people had received heavy punishments for related charges in the Somerset West, Strand and Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Courts.

Henney said he wanted to send out a message that those responsible for attacking people on the N2 would be sent to jail.

“People are sitting ducks, especially at night or in the early morning,” he remarked.

Hendricks would be sentenced next Thursday.

 

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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