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A Mpumalanga widow has presented her husband's convicted killer with a Bible and advised him to seek Jesus Christ.
Güdryn Schoeman, 69, presented the Bible to Aaron Majawodwa Nkosi, 30, through his lawyer Lawrence Manzini, a Sapa correspondent reported.
Nkosi was appearing for mitigation before sentencing in the Nelspruit Circuit of the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday.
Manzini told his client that the Bible was from his victim's widow.
“Güdryn Schoeman has asked that you repent and find a way to Jesus Christ,” Manzini told Nkosi as he handed him the Bible in full view of the court.
“She has sent this Holy Bible as a present to you. She said you should accept it and find a new life.”
Güdryn's husband Johannes Hendrik Tolstoi Schoeman, 86, was killed at their home on Vygeboom Farm near Badplaas on December 17, 2010.
Nkosi, who quietly sat in the dock, accepted the Bible.
Prosecutor S Ntuli told the court that Güdryn, as a Christian, had told him she had already forgiven Nkosi for murdering her husband.
“In her statement presented before court, Schoeman said her husband was an incredible man. He helped everyone on his farm and was among the farmers in the apartheid era who loved his African employees,” Ntuli said.
“Schoeman said her husband has helped in building proper houses with running water for all his farm labourers. He also built two schools, two soccer fields and paid his workers well.
“He left his farm in the hands of seven of his staff members to run it and he only assisted them when needed.”
On Tuesday, Nkosi was found guilty of murder, robbery and kidnapping, while his co-accused Thomas Johannes Nyathi, 30, was acquitted of all the charges.
Judge Mmonoa Teffo said she had to acquit Nyathi because there was no evidence which positively linked him to the crime.
She said the only piece of evidence Ä blood samples taken from the crime scene Ä were inadmissible because proper procedures were not followed by the police team.
On Wednesday, Ntuli told the court that Schoeman left a financial strain on his wife's shoulders as she was now obliged to run the farm with the seven reliable staff members.
“This was a very serious crime to be committed against farmers and it is prevalent in the region. The two accused grew up on the same farm. They both knew the Schoemans very well and that they were vulnerable elderly citizens. But the Schoemans did not know them,” Ntuli said.
“The attack was well planned. Nkosi and his accomplice attacked them in the safety of their own home. The deceased, according to evidence, did not resist when attacked due to his old age.”
Ntuli told the court that most farms in the region were easy targets for criminals because they were far away from police stations.
“Help gets to them at a later stage. Although Mrs Schoeman has forgiven the accused, she'll never forget the ordeal for the rest of her life,” Ntuli said.
“There are no compelling circumstances on the accused and he has shown no remorse to his actions. This act was perpetrated by greed. They were only looking for money and weapons. Schoeman did not deserve to be killed in that manner.”
Teffo postponed sentencing to Friday. - Sapa