A 28-year-old Pretoria man on Wednesday admitted to stabbing his mother-in-law to death after losing his temper when she hit him with her handbag in an argument.
Judge Nicolene Janse van Nieuwenhuizen convicted Stefan Visser of murdering Pastor Elsabé van Niekerk, 55, at her panelbeating business in Pretoria in April last year. Visser pleaded guilty to the murder, but said he had not planned it and had stabbed Van Niekerk after losing his temper.
Visser said in a statement he had met his wife, Leandi, at the age of 16 and had lived with his parents-in-law since he was 17 until he broke up with his wife in 2015 due to financial problems.
Two days before the incident, he had had an argument with his father-in-law, Dirk van Niekerk. According to Visser, he had gone to the Van Niekerks’ business to talk to their mechanic, but also to apologise for the argument.
He had several beers with the mechanic before she arrived. They started talking about the divorce and his access to the children.
“We started screaming at each other and she hit me with her handbag and punched my chest. I then lost my temper and started stabbing her with a knife,” he said.
The state alleged that Visser had told the mechanic he had an appointment with Van Niekerk and then waited until the employee left before he covered his face with a balaclava and attacked his mother-in-law.
Visser made no mention of the balaclava, nor did he explain the presence of the murder weapon in his plea explanation.