Dad of farm killer apologises to victims' family

Mlondi Radebe, The Witness

Pietermaritzburg - In a brief and unexpected moment of conciliation, the father of a man sentenced to life for murder, grasped the hand of the victim’s son and apologised in court.

Zamokuhle Maduna, 19, Siphesihle Ngubane, 20, and Lindokuhle Khoza, 18, were each handed three life sentences in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court on Wednesday.

Acting Judge Louis Barnard described the attack on Ekard Schutte, 76, his wife Elizabeth, 66, and their son Lutz, 33, as calculated and brutal.


After sentence was handed down, Ekard’s sons Stefan and Mathias Schutte and Zamokuhle’s father Joseph Maduna shook hands and Maduna apologised for his son’s terrible deeds as their families looked on.

Joseph Maduna told reporters afterwards that he had told the family he was sorry, but did not want to speak further on the incident or with regards to the sentence his son received.

After accepting the apology, Stefan Schutte said that while they had lost their family, Joseph Maduna had lost his son.

Reacting to the sentence, Schutte said: “It won’t bring back my family but we accept it. It’s hard to speak about closure at this time.”

Maduna admitted to brutally murdering the Schutte family on 1 March at Richmond.

Lutz had arrived at the family farm from Germany to celebrate his father’s birthday.

Maduna and his two co-accused were sentenced to life for each murder plus 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances, as well as five years for possession of firearms and ammunition.

'Barbaric and savage act'

Acting Judge Barnard said in handing down sentence: “This leaves one with doubts to whether the three accused are capable of rehabilitation. You committed a barbaric and savage act against humanity... even setting their bodies alight.”

He said that when Ekard was lying dying in the shed on the farm the men could have fled.

Instead, “they hid and waited for Elizabeth to return. One would have hoped that while Ekard was attacked and left for dead, the three would have had enough time to reflect on their actions and leave.

“Instead they also attacked Lutz mercilessly and stabbed him to death. They then tied Elizabeth and forced her to open the safe. They then slit her throat then doused them with petrol and set them alight,” said Barnard.

He said this was a truly shocking incident and the killers had shown no mercy to their victims.


Defence counsel Zina Anastasiou, arguing in mitigation of sentence on Tuesday, had said the guilty plea showed that the men had shown remorse. But Barnard disagreed, saying the remorse probably arose only after they had been arrested.

Barnard said the heinous crime against the family had impacted on Schutte’s grandchildren as they were receiving psychological counselling.

Maduna, Ngubane and Khoza all applied for leave to appeal against sentence but Barnard granted only Khoza such leave to appeal.

Andre Niemand 2014/07/31 12:10:53 PM
Just another day in South Africa!
StephenWilliams 2014/07/31 12:13:01 PM
Another non-racially motivated crime I suppose, that's why the press won't report it as such. Just wait till some white person is racist to their domestic worker, and watch the press jump on the story. PROPOGANDISTS!!!
Bheki Dladla 2014/07/31 12:13:49 PM
A life for a life is fair!!
Saffa 2014/07/31 12:17:57 PM
Out in 2.....
Dillighted 2014/07/31 12:19:15 PM
I'm sorry, but where was the father when his son turned into a killer? Nice gesture, but oh so little so late! Raise your kids, dont just make them FFS!
Mthamiz Sjongo 2014/07/31 12:21:13 PM
Brave man indeed
Kasper Mbayimbayi 2014/07/31 12:38:52 PM
Thank u father for showing you pain about what your son did although u never send your son to kill innocent people with a brutal way like this. These young boys are mercyless
Bradly Minnaar 2014/07/31 12:56:48 PM
So much sad s#$^ happens in this country well our useless gov sits and does nothing. I wonder how mwny of thousands of innocent people have to die b4 they start taking the situation seriously. ....
Kobus Otto 2014/07/31 12:56:51 PM
So sad that these things happens in our beloved country. Though, what a beautiful example from both families, now joined in their sorrow. We cannot allow this type of conduct to continue. We need the young people to be law abiding citizens and work together for our country. As much as we need the older folk to give guidance.
Bradly Minnaar 2014/07/31 12:57:00 PM