‘Every day of my life, I recall even the smallest details of what I saw when I discovered my parents,” the son of an elderly couple who were murdered on their dairy farm outside Pretoria said on Tuesday.
Wim van den Bosch found his mother’s body in a pool of blood in the farmhouse.
His father’s corpse was in the shed where he kept his calves.
Johannes, 62, and Jacoba van den Bosch were murdered early on the morning of April 10, 2009, by a former labourer, Akona Innocent Gini, 30. They were bludgeoned and stabbed to death.
Judge Cynthia Pretorius on Tuesday convicted the man on two counts of murder as well as robbery.
There was no direct evidence to link Gini to the killings, but the circumstantial evidence was enough to point all fingers at him, she said.
Gini worked for the Dutch couple on their Boschkop farm, east of Pretoria. He was dismissed six months before thekillings when he was suspected of breaking into their house.
Wim van den Bosch, who also lived on the farm, testified earlier that his mother was cold when he discovered her body in the house.
When he discovered his father, he did not have to check whether he was dead. “When I saw all the blood, I knew he was dead,” he testified.
He noticed something was wrong when he returned after fetching some workers and found his parents’ dogs roaming around.
Van den Bosch said he found it odd that the door to the farmhouse was locked. He unlocked it and found his mother lying about a metre from the door, in a pool of blood.
He knew something was wrong with his father when he heard the calves bleating. “I just wanted to find my father. By then the world had come to a standstill.”
He first went to the dairy and could not find his father. His last option was to go to the shed where his father kept his hand-reared calves. “When I opened the door I saw him on the ground,” he said.
Denying any wrongdoing, Gini said he had a very good relationship with the couple, he was paid a good salary, lived on the property and he was given ample food for his family.
When he was arrested the police found the man’s cellphone in his pocket. His wife had the woman’s cellphone. Calls were made from the phones soon after the killings.
Gini later pointed out to the police where he had killed the couple and where he threw the house keys into a cement dam on the farm.
Judge Pretorius said Gini was an evasive, untruthful witness.
The Van den Bosch couple had 12 children, five of whom were at court on Tuesday. Wim van den Bosch said they were relieved that the trial was nearly over after three years.
Asked whether he would forgive Gini for killing his parents, he said his only feeling was one of powerlessness. “Shortly after my parents were killed I was asked whether I feel like going on a murder spree. I always thought I would do that, until it became a reality. I just feel powerless, because I know it will change nothing.”
Meanwhile, Gini is denying a string of previous convictions, after first saying he could not remember whether he had committed them.
The case was postponed to June 8 so that the police could testify about his criminal record.