'Pure greed' more probable than satanism in teen beheading – officer

2016-02-17 19:20


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – The beheading of a Ravensmead teenager was more likely done out of "pure greed" for muti than as part of a satanic ritual, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

Prosecutor Carine Theunissen said the evidence before the court was that the reason why 15-year-old Lee Adams was beheaded was to sell a body part, or just the head, to sangomas for muti.

Testifying for the State, fingerprint expert Warrant Officer Phillip Bekker said he agreed with this scenario.

He said there was no doubt that bloody fingerprints found at the crime scene matched those of the accused, Aljar Swartz.

Swartz is on trial for the murder of Adams in October 2013.

The marks were on a wall at an abandoned school in Ravensmead, Cape Town, where a security guard found the boy’s body. The head was later found in a shallow grave in Swartz’s yard.

Swartz’s lawyer, Sheriff Mohamed, asked if Bekker agreed that a blood mark looked like a bird or bird's beak. He said the question was relevant because there was a theory that the beheading could have been a satanic, ritualistic sacrifice.

No signs of ritual satanism

Bekker looked at the photos and said: "I suppose if you turn it, yes, I can see what is being asked."

He disagreed that a face was visible in the blood marks. Visibly uncomfortable, Bekker said he was sure a more qualified expert could answer the questions. 

The court indulged the defence and asked for his insight because he had done a course in psychologically motivated crimes.

"I haven’t identified any signage or props that indicate a ritual with satanism," he told the court, after looking at crime scene photos during a tea break.

Had it been a ritual, the body would have been washed and presented. "In this case, it seems to me the head was purely cut off."

He said the resemblance of the blood mark to a bird's beak was "purely accidental" and looked as though it was caused by a blood-soaked shoulder rubbing against the wall.

Bekker said he was trained to recognise, document and predict aspects of cult and satanic crimes, not interpret them.

The trial resumes on Thursday.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


6 myths about male cancer

It is important to be aware of the most prevalent cancer diseases amongst men in our country.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.