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‘My friends’ deaths are my fault’

Henco Boshof pleaded guilty on two charges in the Kimberley Magistrate's Court on Monday. Picture: Soraya Crowie

Henco Boshof pleaded guilty on two charges in the Kimberley Magistrate's Court on Monday. Picture: Soraya Crowie

Published Jul 12, 2016

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Kimberley - Exactly two years after a horrific crash at the Northern Cape’s notorious N12 “crossing of death”, an emotional 21-year-old man pleaded guilty to two charges of culpable homicide and took responsibility for the deaths of two of his friends, who were killed in the accident.

Henco Boshoff on Monday wiped away his tears as he stood in the dock in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court, where he listened to the State’s description of the injuries sustained by his two friends, Chara van Zyl, 18, and Hendre Gouws, 19.

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Van Zyl and Gouws were killed when a truck smashed into the Ford Focus that Boshoff was driving, on Friday, July 11 2014, after he allegedly failed to obey a stop sign at the R31 and N12 crossing, just outside Kimberley.

Both victims sustained multiple, massive injuries. Gouws was declared dead on the scene while Van Zyl died in hospital several hours later.

They were both sitting in the back of the vehicle.

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Boshoff’s brother, Duart, who was sitting next to him, also sustained serious injuries but survived the accident.

At the time, Van Zyl was a pupil at Diamantveld High School while Gouws and the Boshoff brothers were former pupils of the school.

Boshoff on Monday pleaded guilty to two culpable homicide charges, while a charge of failing to obey a traffic sign was withdrawn by the State prosecutor, Cornelia Deetlefs.

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During his plea explanation, which was read out in court by Sakkie Nel, his legal representative, Boshoff indicated that “due to the injuries he sustained” he could not remember the exact details of the accident but did recall having a braai at home with his brother, Van Zyl, Gouws and another friend before deciding to go to Springbok Pub.

He added that the next thing he could remember was waking up in hospital to the news that he had been involved in an accident which had claimed the lives of two of his friends while his brother had been severely injured.

The plea explanation further noted that Boshoff had not used any alcohol before the accident.

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Boshoff said he would have to carry the consequences of his actions with him for the rest of his life.

Boshoff’s family members were in court to support him and also broke down in tears during proceedings, while family members of the deceased remained composed as Deetlefs noted some of the injuries sustained by Gouws and Van Zyl during the accident.

Boshoff, however, broke down in tears as the graphic details of the injuries that led to the deaths of his two friends emerged.

He is expected to be sentenced in September.

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