Little left of illegal hunters, court hears

2011-12-07 22:39

Pretoria - There was so little left of two men killed while hunting illegally that no proper funeral could be held for them, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard on Wednesday.

This the testimony of Captain Nick Pitsoane, the investigating officer in the deaths of Morris Morua, 36, and Zacharia Leso, 34.

He said the only human remains found on the game farm of Douw de Beer, near Boschkop, outside Pretoria, in April 2004 consisted of 10 small bones.

This was not enough for a funeral.

De Beer, 51, and his 19-year-old son Dylan have pleaded not guilty to two charges of murder and a charge of stealing Morua's cellphone.

De Beer pleaded guilty to a charge of defeating the ends of justice by burning the bodies of the victims.

He said in a statement that he had been shocked on seeing the bodies and had decided to burn them to protect his son, who was at that stage still a minor, from being arrested.

Dylan admitted to shooting the men, but said in a statement that he had acted in self-defence because a group of illegal hunters had fired shots at him.

Pitsoane said he could find no trace of other people allegedly involved in the shoot-out.

He said a 9mm magazine found at the scene was traced back to Morua's registered 9mm pistol, but that the police could find no trace of the firearm, although they found ammunition in his safe.

They could also find no trace of Morua's cellphone, which was allegedly thrown into a dam.

Pitsoane said he was aware that hunting was allowed on tribal land near De Beer's farm, but that hunters first had to apply for permits.

Leso's nephew Poppy Leso testified that his uncle had told him he was going to look for cattle with Morua when he left home on his donkey cart that Saturday.

He later found the donkey cart outside a cattle camp, but his uncle never returned home.

Jacob Morua also testified that his uncle, who was in the army, had left in his camouflage uniform that day to search for cattle, but never returned.

Counsel for De Beer and his son said they would apply for a discharge on the murder and theft counts on Thursday.

  • TheWatcher - 2011-12-07 23:31

    Looks like there's not enough evidence to call it either way. A) The victims were out hunting illegally, got spooked by the boy and shot at him, he returned fire and killed them. B) Boy gets spooked by men in camo (who were looking for cattle as described in article) and mistakenly assumes they are illegally hunting and shoots at them killing them in the process. There are various other scenario's but these two seem the most likely to me.

      procold2 - 2011-12-08 08:53

      murder is going to be hard to prove here.

  • Sattva - 2011-12-08 06:54

    so, they were looking for cattle, yet they were armed ! what a load of crock ! they got what they deserved.

  • tendani.rasivhetshele - 2011-12-08 07:41

    If it wasn't a murder, why were the bones burned? In 2004, the 19 year old was only 12 so did he have a fire arm licence? Justice must be done

      Japhta - 2011-12-08 08:18

      This suckers must go to jail

      Kenny - 2011-12-08 08:27

      justice has been done, the thieving bastards are dead

  • Michael - 2011-12-08 08:15

    It is disghusting to hear you sounding racist! What if the killers were black and victims white. Wouldn't this post be full of farm killings stats? Remember, hunting wasallowed in this area, and there is no mention that the hunters did not have permit. The 12 year old handling a firearm, and you condone it?

      tendani.rasivhetshele - 2011-12-08 08:22

      you right

      thabo.tebele - 2011-12-08 08:49

      Spot on Michael,and if this was a self defence as they claim why did they burn their bodies?

      Peter - 2011-12-08 08:55

      Agree with you Michael. The previous story on this described the boy's circumstances about being shot at, and the evidence of the dead warthog shot by the 'illegal/legal' hunters on their farm. What stinks here is the burning of the bodies, and now the cell phone was thrown into a dam. C'mon, lets get to the bottom of this in a court of law.

      Paul - 2011-12-08 08:59

      If someone fires shots at you, you won't stop so ask questions. You are going to return fire and/or run away. So stop acting stupid and make some tea!

  • Kenny - 2011-12-08 09:01

    This guy should have never gone to the cops after being dumb and burning the bodies,this case is being made into a race issue and everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, I bet he regrets it now.

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