Cape Town – A 20-year-old man, Ruan Van Heerden, was reportedly sentenced to 25 years in prison on Tuesday by the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court for the murder of his mother, Magda Van Heerden, in 2020.
Reports indicated that Ruan and his friend Carlson Phelps arrived at his home around 23:00 on January 9 while his mother was sitting in the living room and his father, Barney van Heerden, was sleeping in the bedroom.
“On 9 January 2020, his mother reprimanded him for stealing R200 from his father’s wallet. Later that evening, the mother was sitting in the living room and her husband, Barney Van Heerden went to sleep,” IOL quoted National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson in Gauteng, Lumka Mahanjana as saying.
Ruan took a knife from the kitchen and stabbed his mother 30 times across her body.
Meanwhile, Phelps used a golf stick to attack Van Heerden’s father in the bedroom.
Later, Van Heerden walked into his father’s bedroom and stabbed him as well.
A News24 report said that Magda survived the initial attack, but she was in and out of the hospital and underwent dialysis until she died from her wounds in October 2021.
Her husband survived the incident.
Ruan pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, attempted murder, and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
He was sentenced to 25 years in sentence.
The state separated the trials of Ruan and his co-accused Phelps.
Phelps was scheduled to appear in court on June 7.
“In his Victim Impact Statement (VIM), Barney said he was severely traumatised by the incident and receives treatment for depression and anxiety, said Mahanjana, according to The Citizen.
Mahanjana added: “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.”
Compiled by Sinothando Siyolo