17 October 2017

South Africa: Winnie Rust Murder Accused Back in Court

The trial of two men accused of robbing and killing Afrikaans author Winnie Rust is expected to resume in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday.

Nigel Plaatjies, 19, and his uncle Johannes Plaatjies have been charged with robbery and murder.

During their last appearance, it was decided that Advocate Jan Buurman would represent Nigel.

The once promising athlete and his mother's brother, Johannes, are accused of killing Rust, 77, on May 11, 2016.

Her husband, Manie Rust, 87, had been asleep at the time and later found her on the kitchen floor when he heard the bell at the gate ringing at 15:30 that day.

The Afrikaans author had injuries to her face. She had been strangled and her hands and feet were bound.

Nigel pleaded not guilty to the charges. His mother worked for Rust's daughter, and the author had been paying for his sports activities and school fees since he was in primary school. He regularly visited her home.

No prior convictions

Nigel unsuccessfully applied for bail twice.

In his initial statement to police, he claimed he was forced to take part in the robbery at Rust's home as Johannes owed a drug lord money and his family's safety had been threatened.

During his second attempt at bail, Nigel told the court he walked in on the robbery.

He said he had an appointment to see Rust to discuss her paying for him to get his driver's licence.

His uncle, along with three others, had been robbing the house, Nigel claimed, and he had been forced to take part.

Laptops, a handbag, bank cards, a cellphone and rings, which Rust had been wearing, were taken.

Nigel has no prior convictions, while his uncle has a string of crimes to his name, including a conviction for housebreaking, eight for theft, two for assault and two for drunk driving.

Source: News24

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