Cape doctor's wife has forgiven his killer

2015-05-28 14:50
Dalene Heyns and her daughter (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Dalene Heyns and her daughter (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town - The wife of respected Tygerberg Hospital paediatrician Louis Heyns said she had forgiven his killer and was praying for his soul, as he was sentenced to life in jail on Thursday morning for robbery and murder.

Dalene Heyns did not speak to journalists after 35-year-old Marthinus van der Walt was sentenced in the Western Cape High Court, but handed over her thoughts on a piece of paper.

“To the person who killed my husband: I have forgiven you long ago and hold no grudge against you,” the document read.

“I pray for the salvation of your soul (and your brother). May you lay your sins before the heavenly father so that you can begin a new life through him.”

Heyns’s body was discovered in a shallow grave in Strand eight days after he had been reported missing, in May 2013. He had been kicked and beaten to death.


Judge Andre le Grange sentenced Van der Walt to life in prison for murder and 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances. The sentences will run concurrently.

The court did not believe he could be rehabilitated and felt that the accused’s remorse and time spent in custody were not enough to justify a deviation from the minimum sentences for such crimes.

Dalene Heyns thanked investigating officer, Warrant Officer Hannes Niemand, for his dedication, sacrifice and determination.

She said that the violent, heartless and inhumane way in which her husband’s life was brought to an end had had a huge impact on the family and those who knew him.

“We still find it so difficult to process and everything feels so surreal.

Processing the death had been made worse by the apparently insensitive manner in which the media had dealt with Van der Walt’s “untruthful allegations”, she said.

'Husband's noble character violated'

“Not only has our family been humiliated, but my husband’s noble character has also been violated.”

Van der Walt claimed he had not intended to kill Heyns. He testified he attacked Heyns after he allegedly insulted him for not being able to get an erection.

He then stole the doctor’s cellphone and car and fled the scene.

Both Dalene Heyns and brother Christo Heyns testified that the victim had never been involved in extramarital affairs and had never shown any sexual interest in men.

Sarel van der Walt, Marthinus’s brother, pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to the murder and theft. He reached a plea bargain agreement with the State last year.

A third suspect, Malmesbury businessman and scrap yard owner, Juan Liedeman, pleaded guilty to a charge of not having reasonable cause to believe the stolen car, a Peugeot 308, 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.

Read more on:    louis heyns  |  cape town  |  crime

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