Son acquitted of father's murder


A man has been acquitted of his father's 2009 murder in the George Magistrate's Court, according to a report on Tuesday.

Kosie van Zyl, 20, was charged with murder after his father, Koos van Zyl, 40, was shot dead in the family's farmhouse near Stilbaai in December 2009.

Van Zyl testified earlier that he had not pulled the trigger. His mother, Elizabeth van Zyl, who was not in court, had apparently urged her son to accept responsibility for the crime, Beeld reported.

District magistrate Eugenie Jacobs said during her judgment that because no gunpowder residue was found on Van Zyl's hands, there was a reasonable posibility that he had not pulled the trigger.

According to Jacobs, there had been no witnesses, and the State's case was based purely on circumstantial evidence.

She said Van Zyl had impressed her as a witness, but his mother had not.

Jacobs pointed out that Van Zyl's mother had feared the deceased, and that she had felt guilty about shirking her maternal duty when her late husband had assaulted their son.

Elizabeth van Zyl had felt rejected, Jacobs said, and had therefore started an extra-marital affair. She was also aware of the fact that she would inherit from the deceased.

"A shot was fired, but by whom?" Jacobs asked.

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