Third accused in biker Zelda van Niekerk’s murder case gets 20 years
Cape Town - After two years, the Western Cape High Court has sentenced the third accused in the Zelda van Niekerk murder case.
Elton Abrahams, 24, was sentenced to 20 years for the murder of the Bikers with a Cause founder and 10 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances. The sentences are to run concurrently.
Abrahams was the last accused in the case to be sentenced.
Van Niekerk, 45, was shot dead in broad daylight on September 28, 2018, while she was waiting for a friend under a bridge under the N1 highway.
Abrahams entered into a sentencing and plea agreement. Although he only “stood guard” while the murder and robbery happened, the State charged him with common purpose.
Abrahams told the court that on the morning of the murder he and his co-accused, Michael Pietersen and Lucian Ackerman, smoked a pipe of marijuana and mandrax. After they ran out of drugs they decided to hunt for a victim to rob in the Summer Greens area.
He told the court that Ackerman had a firearm. Their excursion yielded no victims and the trio were making their way back to Factreton when they came across Van Niekerk, who was waiting for a friend as they were about to escort a matric pupil to his matric ball.
The trio decided to rob her and went for her backpack, which contained R3 000 – the proceeds from the sale of printed T-shirts.
Van Niekerk resisted and wrestled for her backpack and Ackerman shot her in the abdomen. They took her backpack and ran away. Once they had shared the money among themselves he went home, said Abrahams.
The prosecutor, advocate Esna Erasmus, submitted to the court that although Abrahams did not shoot the deceased, he admitted that they had all agreed to robbing someone and as such was acting in common purpose.
“He knew Ackerman had a gun and the firearm was taken along for the purpose of robbing someone.
“He knew that Ackerman belonged to the Americans gang and had violent tendencies.
“He foresaw that using this firearm during the robbery, someone could be shot and killed or seriously injured.
“He nevertheless reconciled himself with these possibilities and went along and continued and completed the common purpose,” Erasmus submitted.
Abrahams was also declared unfit to possess a firearm.
Previously, Pietersen and Ackerman entered into a plea and sentencing agreement with the state, and in February, Pietersen was handed 25 years’ imprisonment while Ackerman received a life term.
African News Agency (ANA)