Leon, Hetta Steyn 2009 massacre Hendriksdal: no trial date…

’18 months after the horrific bloodbath of the Steyn couple on 29 Oct 2009, the five black suspects still do not have High Court trial date…’


Hetta and Leon Steyn Murdered with R5 military assault weapon ArtistCafeHendriksdalOct292009 Steyn couple murdered converted Hendriksdal railway station Sabie Oct292009_thumb[3] Sabie. April 5 2011 – Eighteen months after the double-massacre of guest-house owners Leon and Hetta Steyn on 29 Oct 2009 – the hospitality-experts who ran the Artist’s Cafe in the converted Hendriksdal railway station —  the five (out of 9) original black suspects still do not have a scheduled High Court date.

The Afrikaner couple died in a hail of bullets from military-assault carbines by a large militia-style gang. The motive was unknown: nothing whatsoever was robbed. During the one year when the property stood empty however, many of the historic artifacts were looted.

Lowvelder journalist  Nicolene Smalman reports that the case was withdrawn ‘for the umteenth time’ at Sabie magistrate’s court because ‘the public prosecutor is still waiting for pending documentary evidence.’ The suspects now also are allowed to re-apply for bail on 19 April after ‘new evidence’ has apparently come to light, and the case against four other suspects was withdrawn. No longer being tried are Nicolas Mndawe, Eddy Mohlala, Stanford Nyalungu and Moses Mokoena. Only five suspects now face trial namely Nicolas Nyalungu, Robert Mgiba, Wanda Ntombeni and two former female workers at the Steyn residence, Cindy Sambo and Dorah Sono. Smalman ‘was reliably informed’ that the Directorate of Public Prosecutions ordered the case against the first four aforenamed people be dropped because of a lack of evidence. The court heard that other evidence such as photos are still being awaited and that the prosection is waiting for these before setting the trial date in the High Court.

The Steyns were murdered on 29 October 2009 , dying in a hail of bullets fired from either R4- or R5 military assault carbines. The house, its restaurants and guest rooms became a ‘little ghost town’ for a year until it was taken over by
Ruwart de Jong and Francois de Villiers a year later as the “Artist’s Cafe.’ De Jong, well known in hospitality circles, said he and De Villiers drove past Hendriksdal in July last year and got interested in the deserted site, located on Transnet property. They rented the property shortly thereafter and started renovating it: “Many of the ornaments installed by the Steyns were looted,’ he said. The restaurant and three of the guest-rooms now are in operation again. The two new operators live in the same small house (background picture) where the Steyn couple died so mysteriously. The new restaurant-owners have kept the bullet-holes intact: still marked with forensic-arrows as silent witnesses to the bloodbath which had occurred there, they say.

It is also interesting to note that the very first police report issued by SAPS superintendent Abie Khoabane shortly after the murders, had claimed that the couple were murdered with ‘a shotgun’…

http://www.looklocal.co.za/looklocal/content/en/lowveld/lowveld-news-general?oid=4291083&sn=Detail&pid=490171&Hendriksdal-aanvallers-wag-steeds-op-verhoordatum –  previous: http://censorbugbear-reports.blogspot.com/2009/10/popular-sabie-restaurant-owners.html

About Adriana Stuijt
Retired South African-Dutch journalist formerly Sunday Times Johannesburg

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