Gay boy's killer gets life

Cape Town - The father of strangled gay youngster Johan le Roux Theunissen told the Cape High Court on Monday he wanted his son's killer "sent to Botswana, and I want to be the hangman".

Danie Theunissen was called by prosecutor Billy Downer to testify in aggravation of sentence, minutes before Morne Langeveld, 24, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the premeditated murder of Theunissen jnr.

The father told the court his reaction when he discovered his son was gay was to throw him out of the family home, and to prohibit his return.

However, his relationship with his son had improved dramatically after he had accepted his son's challenge to a public debate on gay rights on the TV programme, Carte Blanche.

The father said the debate had changed his attitude towards homosexuality, and he had moved to Gansbaai (near Hermanus) where his son had visited him with his gay partner, Werner Butterworth.

Theunissen told the court he had looked forward to a second visit from his son, but this had not materialised due to his son's death.

Father vows to ægetÆ murderer

Minutes after Langeveld was sentenced to life imprisonment, Theunissen vowed from the public gallery above the dock to "get" him.

Theunissen watched as Langeveld embraced his pregnant fiancee, Lynette Lombard, both of them in tears. Then as Langeveld was led to the court cells, Theunissen told him: "I'll be waiting for you - one day, if you are released from jail, I'll be waiting for you."

His comments drew an angry and verbally abusive response from Langeveld.

Langeveld battled tears in the dock while his fiancee, seated nearby, wept silently as Justice Selwyn Selikowitz summed up the circumstances that justified a sentence of life imprisonment for the murder.

Langeveld, who had also stolen sound and computer equipment from the gay commune in Goodwood where the deceased had lived, was sentenced to an additional two years for robbery.

However, the judge said the extra two years would run concurrently with the sentence of life imprisonment.

The judge told Langeveld: "It is tragic that you stand here before me at the age of 24, with your life already ruined.

"However, it is the duty of this court to protect the community from people like you who turn to murder and robbery to solve their problems."

The judge commended Langeveld's defence counsel, Louise Coetzee, for a difficult job well done, but he said Langeveld in strangling Theunissen had "managed to deprive the deceased of his life, and a family of their son, and a gay man of his partner."

The judge told Langeveld: "Your action also affected your fiancee, but all these effects are not unique. They are present in many cases.

"The deceased showed you friendship and hospitality, and your response was to kill him and steal from him."

The judge said he had been unable to find circumstances justifying a deviation from the prescribed sentence of life imprisonment for premeditated murder. - Sapa

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