File image

Pretoria - A self-confessed drug addict admitted in the High Court in Pretoria on Monday that he had beaten a friend to death with a knobkerrie after losing his temper because of the man's sexual advances.

Juda Joseph Plekenpol, 31, was convicted by Judge Tshifiwa Maumela on charges of murder and robbery after the State accepted his guilty plea.

Plekenpol admitted he had murdered 45-year-old Louis Eksteen in his house in Garsfontein, Pretoria, in April last year and that he had robbed his victim of his car, cash and other items.

Eksteen's mother Adri discovered his bloodied body in the bathroom three days later. He had been bludgeoned to death, gagged and tied up.

A panel of experts who observed Plekenpol at the Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital found him fit to stand trial and not suffering any mental disorder that affected his ability to distinguish between right and wrong and act accordingly.

He was, however, diagnosed as suffering from substance dependence, an antisocial personality disorder and a borderline (emotionally unstable) disorder.

Plekenpol said in a statement he had met Eksteen through a mutual friend, Eddie Polland, in March last year.

He had accompanied Polland, who stayed with Eksteen, and spent a night there. He subsequently also befriended Eksteen.

Plekenpol had a sexual relationship with Polland, who he said offered to pay him to stay another night, but he decided to go home.

About a week later he again visited Eksteen at his home because he had previously lost his keys and cellphone.

Eksteen had meanwhile asked Polland to move out, but Plekenpol spent the night there and agreed to paint some rooms at Eksteen's house.

On April 9 he again visited Eksteen and they spent the night together consuming vodka while Eksteen told him about his ex-wife and their marital problems, which she alleged was due to his (Eksteen's) alcohol addiction.

He accompanied Eksteen, who had his own business selling wood, to Johannesburg the next day. They later used the drug CAT, had dinner together and consumed alcohol until the early hours of the morning.

“At one stage during the evening and whilst we were just having a good time, the deceased made a sexual comment which upset me.

“I tried to ignore this and we continued to converse... The deceased grabbed me by my arm and said we should go to his room.

“In view of his earlier comment, this action shocked and humiliated me again, as I was convinced he wanted me to go with him for sexual purposes,” he said.

Plekenpol said he fell over the couch when he retreated from Eksteen, which angered him.

“I saw the deceased approaching me and I lost my temper and self-control.

“I picked up one of the canes or knobkierie... and struck the deceased.

“The deceased had fallen down at one stage and again stood up. In the emotional state that I was in, I again struck him with the knobkierie. I thought he still wanted me to go to his bedroom.

“Due to the fact that I had lost my temper, I cannot recall how many times I struck the deceased... it was multiple times all over his upper body and head,” he said.

When Plekenpol realised that he had seriously injured Eksteen and he might possibly die, he “impulsively” decided to steal some of Eksteen's property so that he could sell it to feed his drug addiction.

He tied Eksteen's hands with great force to subdue him, demanded the pin code for his bank card and then put a cloth around his mouth and dragged him to the bathroom.

He left the scene in Eksteen's bakkie and later withdrew money from his bank account.

He also sold Eksteen's golf clubs at a pawn shop, but was arrested four days later when he tried to sell his victim's CDs.

Plekenpol said his drug and alcohol abuse, as well as depression and suicidal tendencies became worse after the incident.

The trial resumes on Wednesday.