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By Citizen Reporter


Ruan van Heerden gets 25 years in jail for killing his mother

Van Heerden stabbed his mother more than 30 times.

The Pretoria Regional Court has sentenced Ruan Van Heerden to 20 years’ direct imprisonment for killing his mother.

This after Van Heerden pleaded guilty, and was convicted of murder, attempted murder, and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

According to National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana, On 09 January 2020, Van Heerden’s mother reprimanded him for stealing R200 from his father’s wallet. Later that evening, the mother was sitting in the living room and her husband, Barney Van Heerden went to sleep.

“Van Heerden, 20, returned home with his friend Colson Williams Phelph, he took a knife from the kitchen and stabbed his mother, while his friend Phelph went to the bedroom where Barney was sleeping and assaulted him with a golf club. After Van Heerden stabbed his mother multiple times, he proceeded to his father’s room where he stabbed him also,” said Mahanjana.

“However, before the two left the scene, they stole his parent’s belongings, and amongst other things, were a Vehicle Nissan NP200, a CCTV recording device, a wallet, a cell phone, and 6 boxes of cigarettes. The mother passed on 31 October 2021, as a result of the incident. The two were arrested in January 2020, Phelph requested to be sent to Weskopies Psychiatric Hospital for mental observation. However, Psychiatric results revealed that Phelph is fit to stand trial, therefore his trial will start on 10 June 2022.”

In his Victim Impact Statement (VIM), Barney said he was severely traumatised by the incident and receives treatment for depression and anxiety.

Before his wife passed, he had to take care of her, with no knowledge of nursing a fragile patient. He further said this incident has now left him a widower and childless,” said Mahanjana.

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In a separate incident in Gqeberha in February, 26-year-old men allegedly bludgeoned his 72-year-old mother to death.

According to police information at the time, Nozipho Tshem was sleeping in the living room of her deceased daughter’s house when her son entered the room.

It is further alleged that there was a commotion between the two and Tshem was repeatedly assaulted on her head with a hammer.

She succumbed to her injuries on the scene. Her son fled the scene.

The family members went to the police station and reported the incident.

“While police were still at the scene, there was a complaint of a culpable homicide in Matanzima Street (Kwanobuhle main Road). It is alleged that at about 04:30, the driver of a VW Polo reported at the police station and informed police that he had knocked a person. When police arrived at the scene, they found a male person lying in the road. He died prior to receiving any medical attention. The deceased person was later identified as Siya Tshem, the suspect in the murder of Nozipho Tshem,” said Col Priscilla Naidu.

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