Alleged family murderer emotionless as bail is denied

2015-12-15 22:15
Fanie Du Preez appears in the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate's Court. (Wim Pretorius, News24)

Fanie Du Preez appears in the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate's Court. (Wim Pretorius, News24)

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Vanderbijlpark – Disappointment and silent jubilation - these two contrasting emotions were clearly visible from two divided families when Fanie du Preez’s bail application was denied on Tuesday.

Du Preez is accused of the murders of his wife, Thea, 43, and their two children, Carlia, 17, and Phillip, 14.

While in the dock of the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate’s Court, Du Preez sat emotionless in a black checked shirt and blue jeans. Once every few minutes he would look up at Magistrate Buks du Plessis, listening carefully to his own affidavit as well as that of the investigating officer being read out.

Du Preez’s family made an appearance at court for the first time since his arrest on December 3. 

Tension was palpable in the packed courtroom as Thea’s family members and Du Preez’s family avoided any contact.

According to the investigating officer, Warrant Officer Francois Alberts, Du Preez showed no emotion or remorse for his murdered family during the investigation. 

Du Preez's legal representative, Francois de Kock, read out an affidavit containing his version of events.

He told the court his client did not believe the State had a strong case against him and he intended pleading not guilty to the murders.

Du Preez said he had initially told police he thought there was a robbery at his home, as that was what he thought it looked like.

Three versions

According to Alberts' affidavit, Du Preez had three different versions of what took place that fateful night.

He first told police that it was robbers who committed the murders. When he returned from the police station he changed his version and blamed Nigerian drug lords for the crimes. A day later he again changed his version and this time blamed Lebanese drug lords.

“Du Preez said that the drug lords held him at gunpoint, gave him a gun and forced him to kill his family because he didn’t want to deliver drugs for them,” the State said.

He allegedly shot his daughter six times, fired three shots at his son with one hitting him in the head while his wife had two bullet wounds to the head.

Du Preez told the officer that his daughter Carlia tried to stop him and pleaded "Nee, Pappa, nee" (No, daddy, no) before he allegedly shot her. She had a gunshot wound through her hand as she tried to block the bullets.

According to Alberts, Du Preez used YouTube to learn how to make a silencer for a gun, but Du Preez said that he wanted to use it to kill the drug lords.

The only time Du Preez showed any emotion was when the magistrate talked about the possibility of marriage problems between the two. It was understood that Thea was planning to divorce Du Preez. He shook his head as if to say that there were no problems between them.

Du Preez’s bail application was denied, with his family not willing to comment on the matter.

“It is not my place to give my opinion on the decision and that’s all I will say,” said Du Preez's mother, Joan van Wyngaard.

Quiet jubilation reigned among Thea’s family, with most smiling when the outcome was pronounced.

Theo du Preez, one of Thea's uncles, said outside court: “I want to hit Fanie. What a pathetic affidavit he gave in.” 

Read more on:    fanie du preez  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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