News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
26 Jun 2018
6:37 am

I stabbed couple over no Christmas bonus – killer gardener

Ilse de Lange

The male victim told the gardener he did not have money, and 'our president has taken our money to build dams which do not work'.

Self-confessed double murderer January Mahlangu hides his face in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria while his victims’ family look on, 25 June 2018. Picture: Ilse de Lange

A gardener yesterday told the High Court in Pretoria he had attacked his elderly employers with garden shears out of anger because they refused to give him a Christmas bonus.

Judge Bert Bam found January Mahlangu, 47, of Hammanskraal guilty of murdering Corrie Visser, 75 and his wife Gerrie, 79, after he admitted attacking the elderly couple at their home in the Moot area a few days after Christmas in 2016.

Visser, a retired priest, died at the scene from stab wounds to the neck while his wife, who was also stabbed in the neck, died in hospital several days later.

Mahlangu testified that he had asked Visser for a Christmas bonus that day but became angry when Visser said he did not have money, still had bills to pay and that “our president has taken our money to build dams which do not work”.

They started arguing and Mahlangu decided to leave and demanded the R300 he had saved up. When Visser told him to “f**k off”, he grabbed the garden shears and pushed Visser to the ground, before stabbing him in the neck.

Visser was calling for his wife the whole time and when Mahlangu saw the elderly woman coming out of the house with a cellphone, he told her to give him the phone because he feared she was calling the police.

He grabbed her by the neck and throttled her, causing her to drop the phone. He was walking away with the phone when she grabbed his jacket, so he turned around and stabbed her in the area of her head and neck.

According to Mahlangu, he had carried on working in the garden while his two victims lay bleeding on the ground because there was a lot of traffic outside. He jumped over the fence and went home after it became quiet.

He said he had not planned to murder or rob the couple and had acted on the spur of the moment.

A former neighbour of the Vissers, Charmaine Liebenberg, testified that Gerrie Visser had been very frail and could not walk without a walking ring. She had found the seriously injured woman outside after hearing Gerrie Visser knocking on the gate with her wedding ring. She was still alive, but was unable to speak.

The trial continues.

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