Samurai killer well liked, says jail buddy

2009-06-16 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — Lawrence Ncineni(19), a prison buddy of Morne Harmse (19), sat with the emotional family of the so-called sword murderer in the high court in Johannesburg yesterday.

Ndneni, who was awaiting trial with Harmse since August last year, told Beeld that prison warders have a soft spot for Harmse and that he is a “friendly guy with a good heart”.

Ncinenisaid a charge of armed robbery against him was withdrawn last month and that he was at the court merely to support his bosom jail buddy.

Harmse’s sentencing for murder and attempted murder was postponed for specialised evidence until August 31.

There were emotional scenes in the court when Harmse’s father Machiel jumped up when he saw his handcuffed son walking up the stairs to the court room. He embraced his son and ruffled his hair.

Morne’s mother Liza also embraced him and with bowed heads they apparently joined in prayer.

The mother cried and the father repeatedly pulled him close.

Ncinenisaid: “It’s just his prison friends and his family who really know him.” He said that from the word go he and Harmse struck up a friendship in the Johannesburg prison.

“All the things the media write about Morne hurt his parents and that’s why I’m telling you these things. I’m not doing it to protect him. I want the world to know that there’s another side”.

When Beeld asked Ncineniif the other prisoners call Morne “Samurai”, he just smiled.

“The prison warders really like him. We shared books and went to talk to the pastor. Morne is a God-fearing man and he gave his heart to the Lord a long time ago.”

Harmse attacked and killed Jacques Pretorius (16), a fellow Nic Diederichs Technical High School pupil, with a Samurai sword at the school in Krugersdorp in August last year.

He admitted killing Pretorius as well as attempting to murder another pupil, Stephan Bouwer (18), and two school employees, Samuel Manamela and Joseph Kodisang.

Harmse said in an affidavit that he and some of his friends planned the attack before it happened. When his three friends decided against the attack, he decided to go it alone.

Wearing a mask similar to that worn by the lead singer of metal band, Slipknot, Harmse murdered Jacques and attacked the others.

Pretorius’s aunt, Leonie Pretorius, her husband Buks and their daughter Monique were in court yesterday. The family are upset because they say the Harmse family appear to “hold a party” in court when their son appears. The aunt said: “A parent stays a parent and I understand it, but it doesn’t seem as if he has any remorse when he stands there and laughs.”

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