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  • Pretoria: Man sentenced to 25 years for stabbing mother to death

    Pretoria: Man sentenced to 25 years for stabbing mother to death

    The Pretoria Regional Court has sentenced 20-year-old Ruan Van Heerden to 25 years behind bars for the brutal killing of his mother.

    Van Heerden pleaded guilty and was subsequently convicted of murder, attempted murder, and robbery with aggravating circumstances, in relation to the horrific attack on his parents on 9 January 2020.



    According to NPA Regional Spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana, on that fateful day, his mother had reprimanded him for stealing R200 from his father’s wallet. He later returned home that evening with his friend Colson Williams Phelph, which was when the unthinkable happened. His father Barney Van Heerden had gone to sleep, while his mother was in the living room, unaware of the hell that was to break loose.

    Van Heerden grabbed a knife from the kitchen and stabbed his mother, while Phelph went to the bedroom where Barney was sleeping and assaulted him with a golf club. Ruan then went to his father’s bedroom and attacked him with the knife as well.

    “However, before the two left the scene, they stole his parent’s belongings, and amongst other things, were a Vehicle Nissan NP200, a CCTV recording device, a wallet, a cell phone, and 6 boxes of cigarettes.  The mother passed on 31 October 2021, as a result of the incident.  The two were arrested in January 2020, Phelph requested to be sent to Weskopies Psychiatric Hospital for mental observation.  However, Psychiatric results revealed that Phelph is fit to stand trial, therefore his trial will start on 10 June 2022,”

    His father used his victim impact statement, Ruan’s father said he is severely traumatised by the incident and receives treatment for depression and anxiety. 

    “Before his wife passed, he had to take care of her, with no knowledge of nursing a fragile patient.  He further said this incident has now left him a widower and childless,” the NPA said.

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