Marais claimed in 1992 letter that he had sworn off violence

2013-01-08 00:00

EUGENE Marais, who killed his wife and committed suicide last week, wrote to a journalist from prison 22 years ago saying he had sworn off violence.

He was serving a sentence for murdering seven bus passengers in kwaMashu, along with two Afrikanerweerstandsbeweging (AWB) colleagues, in 1990.

He was convicted in 1991 and sentenced to death seven times over. This was later commuted to a lengthy term of imprisonment. Marais was granted amnesty by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1997.

On January 21, 1992, sister paper Beeld published a story on spree killers and mass murderers like “Wit Wolf” Barend Strydom, David Gray, George Hennard, Mehrdad Dashti and Marais himself.

The next day, Marais wrote to the reporter from the maximum security prison where he was serving his sentence, complaining that the article did not “allow people to forget”.

He said his deeds arose from the fact that he was politically influenced, but that he had come to feel deep and sincere remorse for the pain and suffering he had caused.

“I have turned around on the road, broken all ties to politics and sworn off violence,” he wrote, asking that people should be allowed to forget.

Last week, Marais stabbed to death his wife, Tania, whom he was divorcing. He then apparently tried to drug his three children, and shot himself as the police arrived after being summoned by his 11-year-old daughter who had run five kilometres for help.

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