'Closet killer' gets 30 years for murder and robbery spree
Cape Town - The notorious “closet killer” Ziyaad Haywood will spend the next 30 years in prison after pleading guilty at the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday.
Nearly five years after the Lotus River man went on a robbery and killing spree, he confessed to the cold-blooded murders of three men and attempted murder of a woman.
Haywood, 35, appeared before Judge John Hlophe who sentenced him to three life terms after he entered into a plea deal.
Relieved relatives of the victims labelled him as “the face of evil”.
Haywood, who was on the Top 10 most wanted list in the Western Cape after killing a security guard in 2016, pleaded guilty to all 21 charges on the indictment, including murder, kidnapping, robbery and weapons charges.
He was sentenced to a total of 211 years, but as it will run concurrently, he will effectively spend 30 years behind bars.
After being on the run for almost two years, Haywood was nabbed by Captain Ashley Petersen of Grassy Park SAPS on 7 July 2018 following a tip-off. He was dubbed the “closet killer” after he was found hiding in secret a room behind a cupboard in his parents’ Lotus River home.
Moegsien and Juleiga Haywood were arrested for harbouring a fugitive and will go on trial later this month.
In is first murder, Haywood and two accomplices held Imraan Daya, 27, and a friend at gunpoint on 29 May 2015 while they were sitting in Daya’s white VW Golf in Lansdowne.
Daya was kidnapped at a panelbeater in Ottery, where the suspects also held up the owner and stole a vehicle. R10 000 was withdrawn from Daya’s bank account and his body was found dumped the next day at Wolfgat Nature Reserve.
In September 2016, Haywood killed his own friend, Moegamat Nasser Ganief, after he snitched on him for the hijacking of an Audi TT. He had parked the car at N1 City mall and asked Ganief to pick him up and drop him in Parow.
A day before he was due to meet with the investigating officer, Ganief was shot and killed at his Parow home. Ganief’s neighbour ran to help him and dragged him into her house but Ziyaad followed the woman and shot her in the face and arm. She survived the shooting and he was also charged with her attempted murder.
On 5 November 2016, Haywood shot and killed security guard Herman Hendricks at China Town in Ottery and stole his firearm and ammunition.
On Wednesday dramatic scenes unfolded outside the courtroom as Haywood’s upset family exited.
“Don’t you threaten me!” the investigating officer shouted at Haywood.
Wearing black jeans, a golf shirt and brand-new Nike Jordan takkies, Haywood gave the IO a cold stare. The cop said Haywood told him he’d get him.
Imraan’s father, Haroon, said: “Alhamdulillah! Justice was served! God sentenced him today.”
Herman’s heartbroken mother, Anna Cheminais, 71, said: “I don’t feel happy about the sentence as he only got 30 years. He [Herman] has a daughter who turns 14 tomorrow (on Thursday) and she doesn’t have a father to wish her.”