Closing arguments heard in murdered doctor case

2015-05-20 16:03
Dr. Louis Heyns

Dr. Louis Heyns

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Cape Town - The State has maintained its argument that Marthinus van der Walt was fully aware of his actions when Dr Louis Heyns was killed.

Closing arguments related to the murder, kidnapping and hijacking of Stellenbosch academic and paediatrician, Dr Louis Heyns, were heard in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday.

Van der Walt’s lawyer, Gert Fourie, argued that his client had not kidnapped the doctor that night as Heyns had come up to him willingly.

This after his client testified that Heyns had approached him in a bushy area near the ocean in Strand, asking him what he charged for sexual favours.

Van der Walt claimed he had beaten Heyns after he allegedly insulted him for not being able to get an erection.

In her testimony, Heyns’ wife Dalene told the court she believed her husband would not have gone to the scene out of his own free will.

She further insisted her husband had never shown any sign of being interested in men or of being involved in extramarital relations.

Van der Walt earlier told the court his thinking had been impaired by the drugs and alcohol he had used earlier that night.

Fourie argued that while the assault may have led to Heyns’ death, it was not his client’s intention to kill him.

But prosecutor Samantha Raphaels contended Van der Walt knew what he was doing, and that this was evident from the details he gave in his version of what happened that night.

Fourie claimed that Van der Walt had not robbed Heyns, as this implied force was used. This, he said, was not possible if the victim had already died.

But Raphaels said the fact that the doctor’s hands had been tied after the assault indicated that Heyns had still been alive when his possessions were taken.

“Why would you tie up a dead person?” she asked.

The State initially alleged the professor was hijacked after he left his brother’s home in Somerset West at 20:30 on May 22 2013, News24 previously reported.

The doctor’s body was discovered in a shallow grave in Strand eight days after his wife reported him missing.

Initially Marthinus Van der Walt, along with his brother Sarel, 43, were accused of killing Heyns.

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.

A third suspect, Malmesbury businessman and scrapyard 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.

Judge Andre le Grange will deliver his verdict on Tuesday.

Read more on:    louis heyns  |  cape town  |  crime

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