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Pretoria man pleads guilty of stabbing his mom to death - jailed for 25 years

Published May 26, 2022

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Pretoria – Ruan Van Heerden, the 20-year-old man accused of brutally killing his mother, Magda van Heerden, has pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 25 years direct imprisonment by the Pretoria Regional Court.

“The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) welcomes the sentence, handed down by the Pretoria Regional Court, to Ruan Van Heerden, 20, of 25 years direct imprisonment for killing his mother. This is after Van Heerden pleaded guilty, and was convicted of murder, attempted murder, and robbery with aggravating circumstances,” said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson in Gauteng, Lumka Mahanjana.

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“On 9 January 2020, his mother reprimanded him for stealing R200 from his father’s wallet. Later that evening, the mother was sitting in the living room and her husband, Barney Van Heerden went to sleep.”

Ruan arrived at home with his friend Colson Williams Phelph. He took a knife from the kitchen and stabbed his mother, while his friend Phelph went to the bedroom where Barney was sleeping and assaulted him with a golf club.

After Ruan stabbed his mother multiple times, he proceeded to his father’s room where he stabbed him also.

“However, before the two left the scene, they stole his parent’s belongings, and amongst other things, were a vehicle Nissan NP200, a CCTV recording device, a wallet, a cellphone, and six boxes of cigarettes,” Mahanjana said.

The mother passed on October 31 last year, as a result of the incident.

“The two were arrested in January 2020. Phelph requested to be sent to Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital for mental observation. However, psychiatric results revealed that Phelph is fit to stand trial, therefore his trial will start on 10 June 2022,” Mahanjana said.

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“In his victim impact statement, Barney said he is severely traumatised by the incident and receives treatment for depression and anxiety. Before his wife passed, he had to take care of her, with no knowledge of nursing a fragile patient. He further said this incident has now left him a widower and childless.”

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