Stella murder accused 'cracked' from frustration when making confession

2019-05-15 11:14
Xander Bylsma in court. (Deaan Vivier/Netwerk24)

Xander Bylsma in court. (Deaan Vivier/Netwerk24)

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Stella murder-accused Xander Bylsma "cracked from frustration" when he confessed to murdering his ex-girlfriend, Sharnelle Hough, 17, and Marna Engelbrecht, 16, in the early hours of Saturday, May 26, 2018, in the girls' hostel of Hoërskool Stella in the North West.

Hough's body was hanging from a banister while Engelbrecht's body was found in a bathroom. He allegedly strangled the girls and tried to make their deaths look like suicide.

According to Netwerk24, Bylsma, 20, told the North West High Court in Mmabatho on Tuesday that he was getting tired, owing to drunkenness, nausea and stress, and gave private investigator Chris Saunders "the answers he was looking for".

Bylsma now reportedly claims he had nothing to do with the murders, despite his earlier confession.

It was earlier reported that Saunders had recorded his interrogation of Bylsma, in which he apparently confessed to killing two girls in their school hostel. In the recording, which the court was privy to on March 12, Bylsma can be heard saying: "And then I hanged her".

Leading questions

On Tuesday, Bylsma told the court that Saunders kept asking him leading questions until he cracked under the pressure.

Bylsma reportedly alleged that Saunders had threatened to kill his parents if he didn't confess. He was testifying in a trial-within-a-trial, held to establish whether his confession is admissible.

It was earlier reported that the State would call six witnesses who will reportedly corroborate Bylsma's confession that he murdered the girls.

Bylsma pleaded not guilty in the Vryburg Magistrate's Court in November last year.

On Tuesday, Bylsma testified that he had been informed of Hough's "suicide" by "someone" by phone on May 26 last year. In his distress, he took 10 tablets for anxiety which made him feel disorientated, tired, drunk and nauseous, according to Netwerk24.

It was in this physical state that he confessed, after being assaulted by Engelbrecht's father, Stefaans, and intimidated by Saunders, Bylsma reportedly told the court.

The trial-within-a-trial continues on Wednesday.

Read more on:    xander bylsma  |  mahikeng  |  courts  |  crime

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