War pilot’s killer awaits fateComment on this story
Pretoria - The murderer of an 89-year-old former World War II and Korean War fighter pilot, who was bludgeoned to death in his Monument Park home three years ago, will know his fate in February when the Pretoria High Court is due to sentence him.
David Sello Maluleka, 38, is the second man to be brought to book for the killing of Frans Swemmer on November 13, 2009.
Maluleka pleaded with the court on Tuesday to allow him to obtain a social worker’s report before he was sentenced. His lawyer said he wanted to place details of his tragic circumstances before court before his fate was sealed.
The State objected, but Judge Lettie Molopa said this was a reasonable request as Maluleka could face a hefty jail sentence.
Sentencing procedures were postponed to February 11.
Maluleka’s friend, Albert Mothiba, was sentenced earlier this year to 18 years’ imprisonment after he admitted his part in the murder and robbing of Swemmer.
Maluleka pleaded not guilty to the killing and robbery, but Judge Malopa recently convicted him on both charges.
She said all fingers pointed at him as being one of the culprits.
His fingerprint was found on Swemmer’s car, which was recovered in Hammanskraal. Mothiba, who was in the car when it was found, testified for the State at Maluleka’s trial and implicated his friend directly.
Anita Stander, who discovered the body of Swemmer, testified that she had gone to check on her friend at his home on the day he was killed. She had spoken to him the day before and he had complained that someone had stolen beer out of his garage.
When she arrived at his home, she found the door locked, but she had keys and opened it.
Stander found her friend lying in the passage. She saw he was dead and did not touch him.
Mothiba testified that Maluleka had told him there was work available in Monument Park as a gardener.
At first, they had only passed the house and returned the next morning with another friend, Pascal.
Maluleka and Pascal climbed over the fence and stole the beer from the garage, which they later drank at a nearby park.
They returned to the house later that night. Mothiba waited outside, while the other two went inside.
Mothiba said they later returned and opened the gate for him. Maluleka had a four-pound hammer in his hand. Mothiba said they went into the garage. He saw Pascal standing over the old man, assaulting him with a “bobejaan spanner”.
Swemmer was kneeling and bleeding from the head.
Mothiba said the two men continued to assault the man and on the instructions of Maluleka he kicked him. As a result his jeans were spattered with blood. They then bound Swemmer’s hands and feet and pulled him into the house. He was still alive. They fled after loading Swemmer’s car with their loot.
Swemmer’s Mercedes-Benz was found the next day in Hammanskraal. Mothiba was still wearing his bloodstained jeans. Pascal was not arrested.