'I have nothing left'

2006-09-01 22:18

Pretoria - Sergeant Flippie Venter, the Air Force member who is alleged to have killed his two children, is criminally responsible and the two court cases against him may continue.

Venter will appear in Burundi on November 16 for judgment and sentencing in the murder and rape case of a Burundi prostitute.

A handcuffed Venter told the Thaba Tswane military court on Friday that he didn't have any more money for legal representation in Burundi.

"I have no income or money.

"My Air Force pension cannot be paid out before the court cases have been finalised and there is certainty about my career," he said.

The court granted him time until the end of September to arrange his legal representation.

Should his advocate not be in the position to represent him in Burundi, legal representation will be arranged for free by the military.

In this case Venter is accused of murdering Therese Nkeshimana, a 14 year-old Burundi prostitute, in 2004 while he served as member of the Africa Union forces in that country.

It is also alleged that Venter shot and killed his two toddlers and wounded his wife, Millie, during a family squabble in April this year.

He will again appear Monday in the Hoedspruit district court in this regard.

He will probably be charged with two indictments for murder, one of attempted murder, one of the illegal possession of a military firearm, and also a charge of assaulting his domestic worker.

Beeld has learnt that the psychiatric report, which was compiled after a period of two months in a psychiatric hospital, found that Venter's problems could probably be traced back to his years as a child.

Children's home

He had been exposed to assault and alcohol abuse for a long time, which resulted in him and his two sisters being placed in a children's home.

The Burundi court case, and a senior officer who made advances at his wife, raised his stress levels.

He apparently shows signs of depression and is receiving treatment.

An emotional Venter said outside court on Friday that he was down and out and there was nothing left for him anymore.

"My wife despises me and my children are dead.

"I'm not guilty in the Burundi case.

"The armed forces have destroyed me and I have nothing to show after 16 years of loyal service.

"Had it not been for the Burundi case, the second incident would never have taken place.

"It led to unbearable tension and then a lieutenant-colonel started making eyes at my wife. I'm wearing two sets of clothing - that's all."