News24

Child killers behind bars

2006-11-27 23:45

Vereeniging - Two lesbians have been sentenced to 15 years' and 20 years' jail for the killing of the one's four-year-old son.

Regional magistrate Retha Willemse asked the mother, Hanlie Botha, 32, on Monday before sentencing her to an effective 15 years' imprisonment: "What did Jandré do wrong?

"Was he murdered because he was an innocent, easy, friendly and good-natured child? Is that what he did wrong?"

Botha's former life-partner, Thea de Nysschen, 33, who maltreated the child for a long time and finally beat him to death with her fists, will serve at least 20 years of her sentence.

Both women were sentenced to an additional five years' for assaulting Jandré and two years' each for not getting medical attention for the four-year-old.

Jandré died on June 12 2003 in the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital from multiple injuries to his head and body.

His brain 'was dying'

He had been so brutally assaulted nine days earlier that part of his brain "was dying" when he was admitted to Vereeniging Medi-Clinic.

Willemse said that in preparing for sentence she had done a lot of research and found that victims had usually "done something" before they were killed.

But, she still could not fathom out what Jandré had done "wrong".

She told a weeping Botha that she was a "passive participant" in her son's murder, because she had done nothing to stop de Nysschen when the child was being beaten.

Willemse told Botha she had failed miserably in her duty towards her child.

"The tragedy of this case was that you did nothing," said Willemse.

She referred to a pre-trial report in which de Nysschen, herself, had said Jandré was a busy, loving, beautiful child.

She became frustrated and irritated because everyone was always making such a fuss about him.

"Was that all that he did wrong?" the magistrate asked De Nysschen.

De Nysschen dabbed at her eyes with a man's handkerchief from time to time.

De Nysschen and Botha maintained until the end that Jandré had fallen in the bath and this was how he had come by the injuries that led to his death.

The magistrate quoted from the testimony of Dr Elna Gibson, a paediatrician, who had said in previous evidence: "All children who fall and are injured, look as if they have been playing.

"This child looked as if he had come out of a war."

Acquitted on previous charge

She also referred to the efforts of Jandré's father, Jan, who had done everything he could to get the child away from the two women, but was defeated by the legal system.

Jan Botha said he had struggled for more than a year to get control and custody of Jandré, especially after De Nysschen had been acquitted on a charge of assaulting the boy, by a court in Mokopane (Potgietersrus).

She was suspected of having hit Jandré in the face with a golf club, but was acquitted because he was too young to give evidence against her.

Comments
  • Coenie Kukkuk - 2006-11-28 00:52

    The Press Ombudsman already ruled on this issue and we request you to remove the offending cover line. 'Its reference to 'those lesbians', lacking any context, feeds prejudice against lesbianism in general. That contravenes the press code's rule against denigratory reference to people's sexual orientation. I accept the editor's explanation that that was neither intended nor exists in You's editorial principles and attitudes; nevertheless it is a contravention'

  • C kukkuk - 2006-11-28 00:53

    PRESS OMBUDSMAN OF SOUTH AFRICA Ruling MR Glenn de Swardt vs You Magazine E H Linington Press Ombudsman 2 May 2006

  • C kukkuk - 2006-11-28 00:53

    PRESS OMBUDSMAN OF SOUTH AFRICA Ruling MR Glenn de Swardt vs You Magazine E H Linington Press Ombudsman 2 May 2006

  • Louise - 2006-11-28 04:27

    I personally know the accused, Thea dN. I lived in Potgietersrus where she was a traffic officer. She was always a bully,cruel and very macho. She would drive around town looking like she owned the place&numerous people disliked her for obvious reasons. I also met Jandrè on 2 social occasions,he was a fun-loving and beautiful boy.I was only in high school then and he was playing games with us and running around. They both deserve to rot in jail for hurting an innocent child.Through away the keys!

  • Vuyiswa Hugo - 2006-11-28 05:14

    There are so many domestic crimes that woman commit these days,and this is my evidence. These two must do time,because it is so sickening to read abaut woman who abuse their children,especialy around this 16 days of activism.

  • Cobus - 2006-11-28 05:48

    Jail sentences of only 15 and 20 years? Is that justice? In my opinion even a life sentence for each of them would not have been sufficient. Yes, I do support the death sentence. No some one will ask me but what about their rights to live? What rights I will ask that person. They have given up that right to live the day they have started to abuse that little boy and ended up taking his life. He could not protect himself, he was only 4 years old. To harm a child in my opinion is to ultimately hurt one self, to destroy one self. Children are our future, our hope and our dreams. I?m a father of two children. I despise such people, everything they stand for and in my opinion they only deserve death it self here on earth and in after life.

  • Ranter - 2006-11-28 06:51

    I am so happy these two thugs are going to jail, pity they were not handed life sentences. Jan Botha my heart goes out to you as a parent. Please consider taking civil action against the State for failure to assist you in your hour of need, that for me would be the final chapter of this very, very sad story.

  • Amanda Stonehouse - 2006-11-28 07:19

    It is so sad that two sick twisted individuals were allowed to keep that poor little boy, especially when there were accusations of abuse. How can he have been too young to testify? Are we saying that you can abuse children and you will get away with it because they are too young to testify? What about forensic evidence? I think that everybody in the justice system in this country should hang their heads in shame, becuase they are all in part responsible for the death of this innocent little boy.

  • Phillipa - 2006-11-28 07:26

    Why was the father not awarded custody or at least joint custody after fighting for a year. I cannot believe people treat children in this manner - they should be left to rot in jail for the rest of their lives.

  • Johann - 2006-11-28 07:34

    It's a shame what happened here! Truly disgusting. It's because of actions like this that the majority people find homosexuals digusting. These two women deserve longer than just 20 years. They need life without parole.

  • Human Bing - 2006-11-28 07:45

    These two convicts were supposed to be given life sentences with no option for parole. Our legal system, especially in Vereeniging, is forever letting us down. The poor boy could have been saved by putting him under his father's custody. The child was assaulted but the accused was let free only because the victim could not give evidence, that's pathetic to say the least. A while ago there was a Dry Clean Murder case in Vereeniging that was struck off the court roll due to police incapacity. Amen!

  • N - 2006-11-28 07:55

    I am also a gay woman - and I am disgusted to the core to read this article. I hope these two women rot in hell for what they have done to that innocent little child.

  • Pat - 2006-11-28 08:02

    These women deserve their sentence,what they did is inexcusable,but is it necessary to harp on the fact that they were lesbian?Straight people are just as guilty of these kinds of crimes,yet it seems that gays get headline status for crime,whereas straight people committing these kinds of crimes are relegated to 2nd page news.Was it necessary to comment that she used a MAN's handkerchief, for eg?Crimes like these are appalling no matter who does them.

  • CSB - 2006-11-28 08:03

    I am unable to comprehend how civilised people can be so cruel to their own kind, but to inflict that abuse to your "loved one" is beyond me. It is a pity that we don't bring back the death penalty - they would both deserve to sit on death row for a good couple of years!

  • chirsta - 2006-11-28 08:13

    why jail - they sohould get the death sentence.Its sickening that an innocent child had to lose his life.

  • Melton Mark - 2006-11-28 08:42

    Nice to see the RSA government legalising same sex 'marriages'. Guess we can look forward to many more deaths like this?

  • Janet van Aardt - 2006-11-28 08:43

    She told a weeping Botha that she was a "passive participant" in her son's murder, because she had done nothing to stop de Nysschen when the child was being beaten. This is absolutely unforgiveable behaviour and both these women should have been LIFE IMPRISONMENT - when they are release they will do the same thing AGAIN - what type of a justice system do we have in our so-called Rainbow Nation???

  • Cathy Leiding - 2006-11-28 08:44

    I really hope that when this two people is in prison that there would be some other mothers who love there children that is imprisont take real revenge on them.I hope the prison authorities turn a blind eye to what may happen to them.

  • Cathy Leiding - 2006-11-28 08:44

    I really hope that when this two people is in prison that there would be some other mothers who love there children that is imprisont take real revenge on them.I hope the prison authorities turn a blind eye to what may happen to them.

  • Cathy Leiding - 2006-11-28 08:44

    I really hope that when this two people is in prison that there would be some other mothers who love there children that is imprisont take real revenge on them.I hope the prison authorities turn a blind eye to what may happen to them.

  • Cathy Leiding - 2006-11-28 08:44

    I really hope that when this two people is in prison that there would be some other mothers who love there children that is imprisont take real revenge on them.I hope the prison authorities turn a blind eye to what may happen to them.

  • Cathy Leiding - 2006-11-28 08:44

    I really hope that when this two people is in prison that there would be some other mothers who love there children that is imprisont take real revenge on them.I hope the prison authorities turn a blind eye to what may happen to them.

  • Ann - 2006-11-28 08:46

    I hope these two will spend the long years in jail thinking about what they have done and asking God and the child's father for forgiveness. My thoughts are with Jan Botha.

  • Seja - 2006-11-28 08:46

    I'm glad justice is finally served but in my books they should have sentenced for life. Its about time legal system is amended to give us fathers same powers as their partners coz life of innocent boy would have been saved.

  • Hattie - 2006-11-28 09:04

    For Hanlie Botha and Thea de Nysschen justice prevailed. To accommodate their "choice of lifestyle" they must now request to be with their buddies - in the men's prison. Why, Why, Why?

  • CHARMAINE - 2006-11-28 09:05

    THEY SHOULD BE TORTURED AND MURDERED AS WELL. HOW DARE THEY SHED A TEAR, HOW THAT CHILD MUST OF CRIED FROM PAIN WHILE SHE DID WHAT SHE DID! SURELY YOU CAN'T GET ENJOYMENT OF WATCHING A SMALL BEAUTIFUL CHILD IN SO MUCH PAIN! YOU ARE BARBERIAN PIGS. GOD WILL MAKE SURE you GET YOURS BACK. HOPEFULLY IN JAIL THEY WILL TEACH YOU A LESSON. MAY HIS BLESSED SOUL BE HAPPY. TO HIS FATHER JUST FOLLOWING THIS STORY WAS PAINFUL FOR ME, SO SORRY THE LEGAL SYSTEM FAILED YOU AND THAT BEAUTIFUL CHILD.

  • Charl - 2006-11-28 09:06

    The murder of this child is tragic and shocking. However, the couple's sexual orientation has no relevance. If it were a heterosexual who had murdered his/her child (as happens every day), the headline would not have spoken of a "heterosexual killer". This is cheap sensationalism and poor journalism that adds to prejudice against gays and lesbians.

  • Shane - 2006-11-28 09:33

    May those two rot in hell. Justice is served.

  • Rassie - 2006-11-28 09:55

    I find it strange that this article doesn?t mention any thing or any comment from NG Welsyn Vereeniging. Regional magistrate Retha Willemse had a few things to say about the social worker Denise Herbst in the past. Is Herbst still practicing? And what about Herbst?s direct supervisor , Martie Jansen van Rensburg? Is it because she might be a NG minister?s wife? And what about the other cases Herbst worked on, will there be an investigation on them too? If this happened once shouldn?t there be an investigation to see if it perhaps happened again?

  • Annie - 2006-11-28 10:31

    I always say that lesbians and homos are sick and this proves it.

  • LIZO NTLABATI - 2006-11-28 10:39

    IT IS APPALLING TO HEAR OF SUCH TRAGIC NEWS. A CHILD LOST A LIFE BECAUSE OF WHAT? IT GOES A LONG WAY TO SHOW OUR LEGAL SYSTEM HAS EMPOWERED WOMEN SO MUCH THAT THEY HAVE BEGUN ABUSING THAT POWER. WITH THE NEW LEGISLATION TO HAVE THEM(LESBAINS AND GAYS LEGALLY MARRIED). HOW DO WE AS THE PUBLIC GOING TO VIEW THESE TYPES OF UNIONS? MY HEART GOES OUT TO THE FATHER OF THE CHILD (MAY GOD PRESERVE THE SOUL OF THE CHILD). WHO WAS FAILED BY THE LEGAL SYSTEM. HE IS NOT THE FIRST FATHER TO LOSE IN THIS WAY.

  • Moegamat - 2006-11-28 12:14

    What is this world coming to where children get killed for being children. The time they got was nothing, the boy died and they get to live it is not fair. Somewhere someone needs to be made an exsample off before it is to late.

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