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Reagan Gertse’s killer sentenced to life in jail but his mom calls for more drastic action

In court, Acting Judge Raadiyah Wathen-Falken said Petoors showed no respect for humanity, children, the value of life or the rule of law. File Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency(ANA)

In court, Acting Judge Raadiyah Wathen-Falken said Petoors showed no respect for humanity, children, the value of life or the rule of law. File Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Jan 28, 2022

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Cape Town - The mother of 8-year-old Reagan Gertse left the court in tears after she heard her son’s killer being handed two life sentences.

Jakobus Petoors was sentenced to two life terms for the murder, rape and kidnapping of Reagan after his body was discovered at a river bank in Tulbagh on March 1, 2020.

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During sentencing, Louisa Gertse 30 burst into tears on hearing what her son endured.

“He had choices from the start when he took my child. From the point when they called him back, he had choices.”

Reagan was Gertse’s first child. Her reaction to the conclusion of the trial was filled with emotion.

“They must do something more drastic to the perpetrators of murder and rape. To my mind he is still living a life similar to being free because he will be getting everything for free in prison. Innocent children are the victims of people like him.”

Gertse knew Petoors as extended family, and would often joke with him about being flirtatious with women in the community but she never expected that he had been preying on her son.

“I never expected he would be watching me or my son. Nobody expected it. They have to lock him up and throw away the key; he can rot in jail,” Gertse said.

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The court sentenced Petoors to 12 months imprisonment for kidnapping, life imprisonment for rape and life imprisonment for murder.

The court ordered the sentence imposed for the kidnapping to run concurrently with the sentence imposed for rape.

The two life sentences will run concurrently with the remainder of the 12-year sentence.

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In court, Acting Judge Raadiyah Wathen-Falken said Petoors showed no respect for humanity, children, the value of life or the rule of law.

“Your personal circumstances indicate that you have contributed in no way, any meaningful way to society. You have no good remedial relationships with your own wife and children and you have violently assaulted and taken the life of an 8-year-old child while on parole for a similar offence,” she said.

Western Cape acting Director of Public Prosecutions, advocate Nicolette Bell, commended the sentence.

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“This sentence is a reflection of our crusade against the violent abuse and disregard of the most innocent in our society, the children. Violent crimes against women and children are unacceptable, intolerable and will be met with the full extent of justice in our society: life imprisonment,” Bell said.

On Wednesday, Petoors pleaded guilty to all charges against him. His previous convictions date back to 1983. This was his 11th appearance before a court, his fourth conviction for a sexual offence, and his sixth conviction for a violent offence.

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