Tears at 'Sunday Rapist' trial

2012-07-23 17:45

Johannesburg - A friend of murdered teenager Louise de Waal tearfully testified on Monday how the death had changed her life.

"My best friend was taken from me," the now 18-year-old girl told the South Gauteng High Court, sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court in Alberton.

"I will never forget the guy who did it. I will never forget his face," she said, crying.

Judge Sita Kolbe has ordered that the girl, who was with De Waal when she was kidnapped, not be named as she was a minor at the time.

Johannes Jacobus Steyn, dubbed the "Sunday Rapist", allegedly abducted De Waal in October last year, while she was on her way to school in Roodepoort. It was just before her 17th birthday.

De Waal's burnt body was found on a Magaliesberg farm later the same day.

Steyn handed himself over at the Margate police station in KwaZulu-Natal the next day.

De Waal's mother, Shereen, was visibly upset before taking to the stand.

Asked to identify the contents of her daughter's school bag, she shook and sobbed, and pressed the photographs to her chest.

A tenant who lived on Steyn's property at the time of De Waal's murder, Hermanus Mulder, said he saw a woman in the car with Steyn on the day of the murder.

He too became emotional when he explained how the police who searched Steyn's bakkie had opened rubbish bin bags and found the teenager's school bag.

"Dis daai bliksem [It's that scoundrel]," he shouted with tears in his eyes, pointing at Steyn.

Pleaded not guilty

Steyn has pleaded not guilty to all 37 charges against him.

The 36-year-old appeared calm and held an Afrikaans Bible as the charges were read out. He answered "not guilty" to each of them.

Steyn has been charged with the murders of De Waal and 14-year-old Lazanne Farmer.

He is also charged with 11 counts of rape, 10 of sexual assault, 10 of kidnapping, one of attempted sexual assault, one of attempted kidnapping, and two of assault.

The 11 girls he allegedly attacked between 2008 and 2011 were aged between 11 and 18.

Kolbe earlier ruled that no pictures or video of the accused, or victims, would be allowed during the trial.

"For the moment, I will not allow any filming or photography," Kolbe said.

However, when Steyn later withdrew his objection, Kolbe ruled that photographs and videos would be allowed as long as the identities of minor witnesses were respected.

The trial has been moved to the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court from the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg while renovations are done.

Supporters of De Waal and Farmer were in court. They wore badges showing De Waal's face and white ribbons.

Farmer, of Elandspoort in Pretoria, was kidnapped in September 2010 by a man in a bakkie.

She was killed when she apparently jumped out of the bakkie in an attempt to escape.

Police said Steyn had confessed to being the "Sunday Rapist", but not to killing De Waal. He has allegedly raped a number of young girls in Gauteng and the North West, mostly on Sundays, since 2008.

  • Anthea - 2012-07-23 18:10

    Where is the death penalty when you really need it? To the De Waal & Farmer families, we wish you strength. He will get exactly what he deserves.

      Squeegee - 2012-07-23 19:26

      What if for the next 100 cases of rape there was some sort of public punishment - televised so that people could see what lies in store for rapists? I know this is unlikely, but something must be done. What we have now is obviously not working.

      Bless Boswell - 2012-07-23 20:02

      Squeegee, we need a return of the death penalty. The more our prez protests the reintroduction of this permanent solution the more ridiculous he becomes.

      Boer - 2012-07-23 21:26

      Ek raak so kwaad vir die wetter hoekom hang hulle die vark nie sommer aan die naaste boom nie? Ag nee man raak ontslae van die vark.

      Bless Boswell - 2012-07-24 06:54

      Boer: at least you know that if somehow he gets free, the wonderful justice out there will make sure he never does it again

  • victor.tamaranui - 2012-07-23 18:23

    What else can be done to this Barbaric Savage......Life imprisonment and an unsavoury one at that located in Prison. Condolences to all the Victim's Families.....Hope finalization of the case helps with Closure.

  • mariska.ras - 2012-07-23 18:31

    I remember that day. Louise's mother ran into our offices in the premises minutes after her kidnapping pleading for help! I've never felt so helpless and useless in my life. Called the police immediately of course and every radio station in Gauteng, but it wasn't enough, the frustration, the anticipation that day, the fear, it was all so overwhelming. My thoughts are with all the family of Louise, especially her mother!

  • johan.vantonder.921 - 2012-07-23 18:40

    What's up with all these bastards and having bible's now with them? It won't bring the people who lost or got harmed any peace. I wish they wan't to string them up on the city square like in the old days so that all can see what the end might be. But then again, there is a nice hot spot waiting for all of them at the end!

  • lorna.m.eaton - 2012-07-23 19:32

    He held an Afrikaans bible? This evil bastard's a Christian? I wonder if there was any religious significance in his assaults usually taking place on Sundays. There are some pretty horrid parts in the Old Testament but this brutality doesn't seem to fit in with modern Christianity. I hope he ends his days in prison but what a pity there is no death penalty anymore. The victims families and friends' taxes will help to pay this monsters' living expenses for the rest of his life, or until he gets out.

      Bless Boswell - 2012-07-23 19:44

      The bible was a ploy. Perhaps he's stupid enough to believe that people think he would never lie with a bible in his hand.

      melt.olckers - 2012-07-23 20:04

      He was out on parole when he committed the crimes. Sundays was the most convenient because he could leave his house for eight hours.

  • fawzia.bayat - 2012-07-23 19:47

    The time for the death penalty is long overdue, do it now before its your next of kin or you , that goes to all heads of govt & judiciary.

      Bless Boswell - 2012-07-24 06:51

      The reason they refuse to re-introduce it is because so many people in government would qualify for the death penalty.

  • Johan - 2012-07-23 20:16

    White trash.

  • Bless Boswell - 2012-07-24 06:57

    Disgusting piece of trash. Is so damaged and has such a poor impression of himself that he has to impose misery on others to get his kicks. What a bastard. If he had even half a gram of courage, and sense, he'd end it, right now and stop wasting everyone's time.

  • sanet.h.vandyk - 2012-07-24 07:47

    Dit is absoluut siek hang die bliksem..wat se n mens vir Shereen niks gaan haar beter laat voel nie..dit is so seer, Vader hou haar styf vas.

  • cynthia.smith.71619533 - 2012-07-24 09:56

    Pity the poor lawyer who has to defend this lump of crap. His children have to live with this shame!! Hope he never sees the light of day outside prison walls. My condolences to the de Waal and Farmer families.

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