Second conviction in Spes Bona murder
Cape Town - A Cape Town family has welcomed the guilty verdict in the case against 21-year-old Jevon Snyman who on Thursday was found guilty by the Western Cape High Court of the 2013 murder of matric school pupil Glenrico Martin.
The court found that Snyman had acted with common purpose when together with Wilston Stoffels he went to Spes Bona secondary school in Athlone with the intention of killing 18-year-old Martin.
Stoffels is currently serving a 24-year sentence for the May 2013 shooting after accepting a plea bargain with the State. He admitted to pulling the trigger which killed the Manenberg teenager.
Glenrico’s father, Michael Martin, 49, said he hoped Snyman would receive a similar sentence. Standing on the steps outside the Western Cape High Court, he described how the past two years of court postponements had been very difficult for the family.
He said his son had not been a gangster, but was friends with gangsters because the area where they lived, Manenberg, was tightly controlled by gangs.
Glenrico Martin’s mother, Henrietta, said her son was “a very friendly child who communicated with everyone”.
She recalled the shock she felt when she was informed of the news that her son had been shot dead on school premises. She said the pain she felt on the day still “remains very fresh”.
She said ironically Martin had played with Snyman as a boy as they had lived in the same area growing up.
Western Cape High Court Judge Lister Nuku found Snyman not guilty of contravening the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, saying that the State had not proved this beyond a reasonable doubt.
But, he conceded that evidence established Snyman was a member of the G-Unit gang, which was affiliated to the Americans gang, and that the victim was a member of the Hard Livings gang.
Snyman has a tattoo on his shoulder with the words “G Unit”.
The Judge said that evidence indicated that Martin had fired a shot at a member of the G-Unit previously, and was therefore murdered in a revenge attack.
Snyman was found guilty of murder based on the principle of common purpose. He was also found guilty of the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Judge Nuku accepted the evidence of Keenan Slinger, a former learner at Spes Bona Secondary School. Slinger, a State witness, testified during the trial that he had seen Snyman hand a gun to Stoffels just before the shooting.
The teenagers had gathered outside the school on the pavement and Slinger testified that when the taxi carrying his friend and Glenrico Martin arrived at the school, he had walked towards the taxi.
When he glanced back at Snyman and Stoffels, he had witnessed Snyman hand a gun to Stoffels. Moments later a shot was fired and children started screaming. Martin was shot once in the head and died at Groote Schuur hospital a few hours later.
Slinger testified that Snyman, who wasn’t a learner at the school, had been wearing the school uniform and that he did not know Stoffels.
During the trial, he also described how he had heard the “unknown male” (Stoffels) ask “is dit hy?” (Is that him?).
Initially Slinger had told police he didn’t know what the pair were talking about, but admitted to his interactions with the accused after seeing video footage captured on CCTV cameras.
Despite being labelled a “self confessed liar” by the defence, the Judge said Slinger’s evidence “was honest enough and didn’t exaggerate evidence”.
Defence lawyer Mohamed Sibda asked the court that the probation officer’s report be completed before sentencing proceedings. The provisional sentencing date was therefore set down for the 24th of July so that the probation officer could inform the court how long the report would take.
Snyman opted not to testify during his trial and had pleaded not guilty to all the charges. As the verdict was read out, he stared straight ahead, expressionless. He faces the possibility of a life sentence.