Inquest clears rugby legend's brother after he shot dead robbers during church service

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Pieter van der Westhuizen is seen next to one of the robbers shot dead in the church.
Pieter van der Westhuizen is seen next to one of the robbers shot dead in the church.
Netwerk24
  • Pieter van der Westhuizen has been cleared of shooting dead two robbers during a church service in Wierda Park in Centurion. 
  • An inquest found that he didn't act negligently and cleared him of any wrongdoing. 
  • Van der Westhuizen's legal representative says he is relieved. 

Pieter van der Westhuizen, the brother of late Springbok player Joost van der Westhuizen, who shot dead two robbers during a church service - has been acquitted and cleared of any wrongdoing. 

In July 2020, Van der Westhuizen shot dead two robbers who targeted worshippers at the Querencia Ministries Church in Wierda Park in Centurion. A third robber managed to flee the scene in a getaway car. 

Pastor Kobus Erasmus suffered blows to the head during the robbery, and a teenage boy was grazed by shrapnel. 

Lawyer Ulrich Roux said Van der Westhuizen - a retired police officer - was cleared by an inquest. 

READ | Pieter van der Westhuizen shot to protect other people - lawyer

After the incident, police launched an inquest to investigate whether Van der Westhuizen acted negligently or without justification when he shot at the two robbers. 

Self-defence

Roux, in a statement, said: "It has been confirmed during the SAPS investigation that our client acted in self-defence when he shot and killed the robbers and that his actions in all probability resulted in the prevention of any innocent churchgoers being hurt or killed by the armed robbers.

Roux added that the charges against their client had, accordingly, been withdrawn in its entirety and the docket closed by the police.

He said Van der Westhuizen was relieved that the case was closed and "that he can carry on with his life".

Wierdabrug police confirmed the docket was closed. 

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