Pretoria - For 10 years, the Leso and Morua families have been hoping the bones of their murdered sons will be returned to them.
Zakharia Leso, 34, and Sello Morua, 36, were killed and their bodies burned on a North West farm.
The pair were taken to be poachers and shot by Dyllan de Beer, then 16, who admitted this in court. The teenager panicked and called his father, Douw de Beer, who burned the bodies.
Dyllan was acquitted in October of murder, but found guilty of stealing the pair’s cellphones in 2004. His father was found guilty on the cellphone charge and of defeating the ends of justice.
They are out on bail.
This week, as sentencing procedures were under way in the Pretoria High Court, the dead men’s families spoke again of their pain and of their not having the pair’s remains.
“The law has been lenient to the De Beers. We’ve suffered a lot. We’ve not properly mourned them because we’ve not received their bones. As families we have not been to the farm to get their spirits. Justice has not been served,” said Morua’s brother Brian Maragele.
Elisa Leso said the greatest pain was that her brother’s child was an orphan.
“My brother was killed. Now his child doesn’t have any parents. The mother also died. When I look at these two (De Beers) I get angry. What happened to their bones? We cannot get closure as families if we do not have the bones.”
Morua’s mother, Molly Morua, said: “Police said they found his tooth and that is how they were able to do DNA tests.They must give me the tooth - that would be better than nothing.”
In court on Tuesday, Kobus Strijdom, for the De Beers, argued that the father and son should be given a suspended sentence or placed under correctional supervision instead of being given a custodial sentence. The two had suffered enough.
“Accused number 1 (Douw) has lost everything. He was forced to sell his farm after he was threatened by the community. Since 2004, he has been unemployed.”
Dyllan had qualified and was a practising vet.
Strijdom said that in shooting Leso and Morua, Dyllan had been trying to protect himself.
“He was a victim as well, if he didn’t do that he might have died. He was also just a child at the time. He’s been punished enough.”
Christo Roberts, for the State, agreed that Dyllan should not be given a jail sentence, but argued that Douw should go to prison as he was an adult at the time.
“To destroy the bodies was not necessary. They had to collect wood to burn the bodies so he had adequate time for reflection… As a father he was expected to set an example. He failed dismally.
“He treated the dead like objects and not human beings. The families have not been able to recover the bodies for funerals. If this was done, it would’ve helped (them) to deal with the anger and sadness.”
The case continues on Wednesday.