21 June 2022

Mpumalanga Division of the High Court has today sentenced Nicholas Hendrick Janse Van Rensburg (40), from Komatipoort to two life terms for the rape and murder of an adult woman, Zitha Andiswa Nancy.

The accused was known as a motor mechanic in the area where the incident happened. 

On 12 October 2019, Zitha, the deceased, and the accused were at Vision Four Tavern, with Bheki Vuma and other people.

The following morning, the accused took Vuma’s house keys and left the tavern with the deceased to Mjejane RDP houses, and Vuma remained behind.

When Vuma returned to his place of residence, he noticed blood stains on the floor and was terrified to enter his house.

He immediately alerted his neighbours and when they entered the house, they found the deceased lying on the floor, bleeding profusely.

When asked, she informed them that she was assaulted and raped by the accused who also inserted a wooden spoon in her vagina.

She was taken to hospital and died two days later.

In court, the accused pleaded not guilty, and the state relied purely on circumstantial evidence.

State Adv. Tula Bekwa led evidence of the neighbour who was woken up by Vuma, who told the court about the discovery of the deceased after the incident happened.

Evidence of a cashier, who last saw the deceased leaving the tavern with the accused was led.

Vuma also testified and said the only person who had his house keys is the accused no one else.

The medical report was also presented to the court.

The court found the evidence of state witnesses credible, and the accused was found guilty as charged.

Judge Carrim Moosa sentenced Van Rensburg to life imprisonment for rape and another life for murder.

The National Prosecuting Authority applauds the good work done by the team and hopes that this sentence will curb the scourge of gender-based violence, by deterring like-minded people says Adv. Nkebe Kanyane.