File picture

Pretoria - One of the two teenagers accused of stealing his father’s semi-automatic firearm from the safe and shooting the school’s secretary twice in the head while she gave him and his friend a lift, on Monday pleaded guilty to the murder.

The then 17-year-old, who was in November 2016  a pupil at the exclusive and private Rabboni Christian School in Brits, said the reason for the killing was that he and his friend, aged 16 at the time, “wanted a car to drive around in.” 

The two teenagers appeared in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, on several charges, which included the murder of Hester Koster, for robbing her as well as her kidnapping.

Although the former 17-year-old has now turned 18, his identify is not revealed as he was still a minor at the time of the incident. 

The teenager was convicted of murder, robbery, kidnapping, the theft of his father’s firearm as well as the unlawful possession of a firearm and 13 life rounds of ammunition. 

His younger co-accused pleaded not guilty to all the charges and he will go on trial at a later stage.

The killing at the time made headlines after it was claimed that the 18-year-old stole his soldier father’s firearm and at point blank range shot dead his school secretary after she gave him and his friend a lift.

The teenager admitted in a statement to court on Sunday that on the morning of the killing, the stole the firearm from his dad’s safe and placed it in his schoolbag. 

“When I arrived at school I showed it to my friend. We went to the school grounds to check how many live rounds are inside the magazine.” 

He said he and his friend went back to class, but after school they waited next to Koster’s car and asked her for a lift to town. The unsuspecting secretary was happy to oblige. 

The teenager said he sat in the back seat and his friend in the front passenger seat. He said while she was driving, he pointed the firearm at her and told her in which direction to drive.

“When we got to the main road of Letlhabile, I instructed her to stop the car and we got out. Accused two was tying the deceased with masking tape and she was resisting. She tried to take the firearm from me and I shot her twice in the head”.

“I picked up the cartridges and left her there. I drove the vehicle to Maboloka.” 

The teenager said he parked the car in the road and walked home, where he asked his mother for R60 so that his friend could get transport home. She did not have money, but a taxi-driver friend gave them the money.

The teenager said he used the money to pour petrol in the car and he drove his friend home. He then parked the car at a neighbour’s house. He also admitted that he had robbed Koster of her laptop and a charger. 

“I knew my conduct was wrong. When I shot her in the head, my intention was to kill her,” the nerdish-looking teenager with spectacles said.

They went to school as usual the following day to write their exams. The teenagers were later arrested a school, while in their school uniforms. This was after a passerby stumbled across Koster’s body which was simply dumped in a remote spot.

Their friends at school were so traumatised after the incident that officials from the North West Education department went to the school to offer them assistance.

The teenager’s counsel meanwhile asked for a pre sentencing report due to his client’s youth.. The trial was postponed to June 18 for sentencing procedures.

The teenager, who was up to now out on R10 000 bail, will remain in custody. His parents, however, through his lawyer, pleaded with the court to keep him out of jail at this stage. They even offered to pay more bail and said their son was still attending school at this stage.

Judge Bert Bam, however, refused and said he was now a convicted killer who could face a very long time in jail or even a life sentence if the court did not find any mitigating circumstances. 

[email protected]

Pretoria News