Beaufort West’s killer ‘R Kelly’ sentenced

R Kelly was deemed a danger to society by the State in the Beaufort West Regional Court. Picture: Supplied

R Kelly was deemed a danger to society by the State in the Beaufort West Regional Court. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 25, 2023


Cape Town - A man from Beaufort West commonly known as ‘R Kelly’ has been sentenced to 34 years imprisonment following a marathon trial.

Raymond Kelly was found guilty on two charges of murder and assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm.

He was convicted of murdering Brendon de Wee during an argument at Strydersfontein Farm on July 12, 2015.

He was also convicted for a murder he perpetrated later that year on December 31, 2015. Kelly stabbed Griet Plaatjies, an elderly woman nine times in her own yard in Prince Valley.

She also sustained a rib fracture.

He was also convicted of assaulting his then-girlfriend, Regina Saayman on September 11, 2017. Saayman was severely assaulted with a sjambok. Kelly also kicked her.

According to the evidence before the Beaufort West Regional Court, on July 12, 2015, Kelly, and four friends visited other friends at the Snydersfontein Farm. His first victim, De Wee and his friends were enjoying themselves until Kelly and his friends arrived.

They started drinking and later after returning from urinating outside, an argument broke out between Kelly and De Wee.

He stabbed De Wee 36 times and left him with a fractured skull.

During the second incident, the court heard on December 31, 2015, Kelly went to Plaatjies’ house to look for his friend.

Plaatjies and her husband told him his friend was not staying there. Kelly then proceeded to kick the door open and confronted the elderly couple.

During this time, Kelly claimed Plaatjies stabbed him and this prompted him to fetch his knife and stab her nine times.

His defence in this matter was self-defence.

According to evidence, there were stab wounds on Plaatjies’ back which indicated she tried getting away from her attacker.

On September 11, 2017, the court heard the only sin his then-girlfriend was guilty of was telling Kelly it was late and they had to go home.

The court heard that without being provoked, Kelly kicked Saayman in the head and later, with the help from his aunt, further assaulted the woman.

The court also heard from State prosecutor, Hyron Goulding that Kelly had many previous convictions.

“The accused has many previous convictions for offences involving violence including robberies and assault. It’s clear from the evidence before the court, as well as the accused’s previous convictions, that he uses violence to solve conflict and his problems,” Goulding argued.

“It is also clear that the accused did not rehabilitate following previous sentences imposed on him by the different courts, that’s why he is again before the court for offences involving violence.”

He further submitted that Kelly showed no remorse for his actions, despite the overwhelming evidence brought against him.

Goulding told the court that Kelly posed a danger to society.

“He has maintained his lies to prove his innocence despite the watertight evidence against him. So, it is clear from the nature of the three charges above that the accused is not only a danger to strangers, but also to his loved ones like his girlfriend,” Goulding said.

“This accused is a danger to society, and he should be removed from society for a long period.”

The court sentenced Kelly to 14 years imprisonment for the murder of De Wee.

He was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for the murder of Plaatjies and three years imprisonment for the assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The court ordered the assault conviction to run concurrently with the two murder sentences imposed.

Kelly will effectively serve 34 years in prison.

“The State is satisfied that justice has been done and that this violent accused was removed from society for a long time. The community of Beaufort West is now happy that justice was done,” Goulding said.

Western Cape Director of Public Prosecutions, advocate Nicolette Bell welcomed the sentence and commended the prosecution and investigating teams for ensuring justice for the victims.

“The team approached the local radio station as well as the media to trace the main witnesses. After several attempts, they managed to get the main witnesses. Such efforts to ensure justice for victims are appreciated,” Bell said.

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