Man killed mother with spade, crowbar after years of abuse

2017-05-11 11:11
Francina van der Merwe (Netwerk24)

Francina van der Merwe (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - A young Western Cape man murdered his mother because she “abused him for many years” before he snapped. 

Pieter le Roux, from Vermaaklikheid, near Riversdal, admitted in the Circuit Court in Swellendam on Wednesday that he murdered his mother, Francina van der Merwe, on July 27, 2016.

He is facing charges of attempted murder and murder, and pleaded guilty to both counts, Netwerk24 reported.

“The relationship between the deceased and I was always extremely strained and characterised by constant fighting, shouting and physical violence toward me,” his plea read.    

She took him out of school a few times, after which the school refused to admit him again.

She was especially belligerent on a Saturday evening, when she had been drinking. She often locked him out of the house and he had to sleep in an outside toilet.

When Le Roux started a relationship with a young woman of colour, Van der Merwe disapproved. She repeatedly shouted and fought with him about this.

'I knew what I was doing'

According to the plea, Van der Merwe never wanted Le Roux to work. He had to do household chores.

“I tried poisoning the deceased with ant poison in July 2016. I laced her coffee with the poison, but she didn’t finish drinking it.” 

Three weeks later, when he got home after visiting his girlfriend, his mother picked a fight with him again. She went to bed and he watched TV.

“I saw that she was sleeping and went outside to fetch a spade. I was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol and I knew what I was doing. 

 “When I stood next to her with the spade, I thought of holding back, but decided to go ahead and hit the deceased on the head with the spade as she lay sleeping.”

She woke up and asked: “What are you doing?”

“I beat her over the head with the spade several times. I saw it wasn’t working and fetched a crowbar.

“I stabbed the deceased in the back of her neck several times with the crowbar while she lay on her stomach.”


After killing her, he tied her body to their Fiat Uno with an anchor rope and dragged it into bushes. She was too heavy for him to load into the car.

He tried burning her bloodied clothes, the spade, the crowbar, and a piece of carpet. 

“There was blood against the cupboards and I washed it off,” he said. 

When police arrived at the house, Le Roux showed them the body.

“I am angry at myself and regret what I did, because I know it was wrong.”

He will be sentenced next week.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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