Two Worcester men who murdered their partners by setting them alight, sentenced

The two women were set alight by their partners. Picture: Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay

The two women were set alight by their partners. Picture: Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay

Published Jul 1, 2024


The Worcester Regional Court has sentenced two murderers from Worcester in the Western Cape to hefty prison terms after they were convicted of murdering their partners who they set alight.

In the first matter, Ruiter Erasmus pleaded guilty to the charges against him.

He murdered his partner, Monica Daniels.

Acting regional court prosecutor, Amisha Ratantjie told the court Erasmus and the deceased were life partners.

The court heard on the day of the incident, October 12, 2022, the coupled were arguing at their Shrike Street home in Avian Park, Worcester, over money the deceased’s son requested.

The court heard Erasmus stabbed his life partner 16 times across her body. He then set the bedroom alight, closed the door, and left the house.

Family and neighbours saw smoke coming from the home and went to investigate. Daniels was declared dead at the scene and Erasmus handed himself over to police.

In aggravation of sentence, Ratanjie argued that Erasmus was in a position of trust and the deceased looked to him for her wellbeing, love, and protection. He instead acted in a brutal, callous, and violent manner. She submitted that the heinous nature of the offence cannot be diminished to such an extent that it justifies deviation from the court’s discretionary powers.

During sentencing, the court deviated from the prescribed minimum sentence of life imprisonment as Erasmus was a first offender and did not put the family of the deceased and the witnesses through a protracted trial.

Erasmus was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment.

In the second incident, Richard Samuels pleaded guilty to the murder of his wife, Valencia Samuels in the same court.

The court heard that on January 15, 2022, the couple argued at their home in Oktober Street in Roodewal, Worcester when his wife confronted Samuels about an extramarital affair.

The court hear that Samuels became angry with his wife and started shouting and swearing at her. He then doused her with petrol and set her alight. She was taken to hospital but succumbed due to her injuries 10 days later. The court also heard the incident took place in the presence of the couple’s 14-year-old son.

Samuels was arrested and initially charged with attempted murder which was later changed to murder.

He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Western Cape Director of Public Prosecutions, advocate Nicolette Bell applauded the investigation and prosecution team, but decried the level of gender-based violence and femicide in both cases.

She once again committed the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to do all within its powers to fight the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide.