/ 27 July 2004

Killer rapist blames apartheid

Convicted murderer and rapist William Kekana told the Temba Circuit High Court on Tuesday he had murdered members of a Pretoria family because they were white.

“I am a black man and you are a white man. I have forgiven you, and I ask you to forgive me,” Kekana asked state advocate Dewald Reynierse during cross-examination of his evidence in mitigation of sentence.

Kekana’s remark elicited a gasp from the presiding judge and the public gallery.

Kekana — who on Monday was found guilty on all 14 charges relating to the hijacking, abduction, murder and rape of Janine Drennan; the murder of her one-year-old daughter, Kayla; the murder of grandmother Hester Rawstone; and the rape and attempted murder of a 17-year-old girl — told the court he had killed the family because they were white and because of apartheid.

“You raped a white lady and killed her and her family because of apartheid … What do you know about apartheid?” interjected Judge Monica Leeuw, who pointed out Kekana had been born in 1984.

Kekana said that “after the old woman [Hester Rawstone] was killed on the Heilbron road”, he and his now-dead accomplice, Charles Fido Baloyi, had agreed they would kill them because they were white.

Kekana, who is already serving a life sentence for the murder of a man two weeks before the family crime, said he would “prefer death” to receiving another life sentence.

“Being in prison is like death,” he told the court.

He said he had not expected to be arrested as “all the charges previously had been withdrawn due to lack of evidence”.

“I found it very easy and simple to commit the crimes.”

Kekana also called on God and the family to forgive him, receiving incredulous looks from the Rawstone family sitting in the gallery.

Leeuw will pronounce sentence on Tuesday afternoon. — Sapa

  • Kekana is guilty