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10 Dec 2008 17:12
Skierlik killer Johan Nel’s legal team will be at Mmabatho High Court on Friday to hear whether he is granted leave to appeal his sentence, North West police said on Wednesday.
Spokesperson Superintendent Lesego Metsi said Nel would not be at the court but he would be represented by his lawyers.
“His lawyers will give their reasons on why he should be granted leave to appeal and thereafter the judge will announce his decision on the matter.”
Nel received four life sentences for committing murder. He was sentenced to an additional 68 years for attempted murders—seven years on each of eight of the charges and four years on each of the remaining three counts.
He also received five years for unlawful possession of a firearm and three years for possession of ammunition.
A charge of damage to property was withdrawn.
He was convicted of killing Enoch Tshepo Motshelanoka, 10, Anna Moiphitlhi, 31, her three-month-old baby Kegitlho Elizabeth Moiphitlhi, and Sivuyile Banani, 35, in a shooting spree in the Skierlik informal settlement near Swartruggens on January 14.
Another eight people were wounded in the attack, and three others were shot at.
Testifying psychologist in the case Kobus Truter said the fact that the boy’s family and friends had repeatedly been victims of violent crime made him believe that white people were under attack.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in North West said it would picket at the court on Friday to protest against Nel appealing the sentence.
“Our demonstration and picketing is against any change to the current sentence to Johan Nel,” said provincial secretary Solly Phetoe.
At the funeral of the Skierlik victims in late January Cosatu secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi said Nel was a “young, brainwashed racist” with “no regard for human life”.
Phetoe said they would call on the court to reject Nel’s appeal and to recharge him for an attempted murder case in 2003, where he was alleged to have shot and paralysed a man cutting grass alongside a railway line.
Nel was given a suspended sentence after the shooting.
Superintendent Metsi confirmed that Cosatu has been granted permission to demonstrate at the court.—Sapa
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