Conviction sought in hunting case

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IOL pic jan15 scales gavel Independent Newspapers .

Pretoria - A Limpopo man who shot dead two suspected illegal hunters on his father's game farm should be convicted of culpable homicide, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Friday

Prosecutor Christo Roberts conceded that the State had not proved murder charges against Dyllan de Beer, 20, and his father Douw, 52, but argued that it had proved that De Beer had been negligent.

Roberts asked for Dyllan's conviction on two charges of culpable homicide and a charge of stealing one of the hunter's cellphones.

Dyllan had admitted to shooting Morris Morua, 36, and Zacharia Leso, 35, on his father's game farm Deo Gloria near Boschhoek on April 11, 2004.

He claimed he acted in self-defence because the two were illegally hunting on his father's farm and were shooting at him.

His father admitted burning the bodies on a stack of wood, but told the court he was “beside himself” and had decided to “clean up” because he wanted to prevent his son from being arrested.

Dyllan was 16-years-old and still at school at the time.

Investigating officer Captain Nick Pitsoane earlier testified that the only human remains found on the farm were of 10 small bones, which were not enough for a funeral.

Roberts argued that Douw de Beer should be convicted on a charge of defeating the course of justice.

The total destruction of the bodies had not only concealed the fact that they had been killed during a shooting incident, but made it impossible to perform a post mortem examination which could either have confirmed or disproved Dyllan's version.

Roberts said there was no evidence that Dyllan had helped his father to dispose of the bodies.

“Although it is extremely doubtful that De Beer sen. did all the hard work alone while De Beer jnr. a strapping young fellow who had caused all the trouble, sat idly in the vehicle while his father slaved away - there is nothing on record to contradict it,” he said.

He argued that Dyllan had exceeded the bounds of self-defence.

He could have run away and sought help when shots were fired at him, but chose to blindly fire in the direction where his attackers were without caring if he hit anyone or not.

He did not act as the reasonable man would have done and had therefore negligently caused the men's death, Roberts said.

Defence counsel Kobus Strijdom SC argued that Dyllan's guilt had not been proved and that he should be acquitted on all charges.

He said Dyllan's conduct should be viewed in the light of what would have been reasonable for a child of 16, in circumstances where he was under attack and feared for his life.

He said the many bullet casings found at the scene supported his client's version.

Judge Winston Msimeki postponed the trial to April for judgment. - Sapa


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