Director, Piet du Plessis, represented the two accused in the tragic shooting incident and death of a teenager on 5 January 2021. The identities of our clients will not be made public, as the one accused was a minor at the time of the incident. Out of respect for the family of the deceased, we will also not name the deceased. The minor accused and the deceased were close school friends.
On Monday, 24 October 2022, the Regional Court held in Pretoria, found the minor accused guilty of culpable homicide and the unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, but acquitted the second accused (his father) on all charges. This was the plea that BDK Attorneys offered the State from the start of the case.
The minor accused faced charges relating to murder, pointing of a firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, as well as the negligent handling of a firearm, failing to lock away a firearm, and defeating the ends of justice. His father, the second accused, was found not guilty on all charges.
Magistrate Adriaan Bekker emphasised contradictions in the State Witnesses’ evidence, especially in relation to the allegations that two shotguns were present during the incident. The State failed to prove the dolus eventualis (intent) requirement for a conviction of murder and the minor is therefor convicted of culpable homicide on his own version.
A matter like this has to be handled with great sensitivity as two families were ripped apart by the tragic event and there can be no winners from this tragic event.
However, even in the face of emotion and tragedy, the Presiding Officer, State representative and defence have to fulfill their role fearlessly to ensure justice.
The sentence proceedings will take place in January 2023.
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