Convicted murderer Martin Visser granted leave to appeal

Lutzville farmer and convicted murderer Martin Visser was on Thursday granted leave to appeal his conviction and sentence in the Western Cape High Court sitting in Vredendal.

He was on Wednesday sentenced to life behind bars after he was found guilty of premeditated murder of farm worker Adam Pieterse, 33. He had been beaten with a spade, dragged with a quadbike and buried behind Visser's father's vineyard in 2015.

His sand-covered body was unearthed three weeks later, when a seasonal labourer saw Visser behind the vineyard of his father's farm twice and contacted the police when she took a closer look and noticed flies buzzing around the disturbed earth.

Read: Convicted Lutzville farmer attempts suicide ahead of sentence

The cause of death could not be confirmed due to the advanced state of decomposition of the corpse.

He was also sentenced to three years for the grievous assault on Kleintjie Moses, who he had stabbed with a broken bottle neck in 2011, and six months for the common assault on Pieterse a month before the murder.

Prosecutor Christhenus van der Vijver opposed the application, saying he found it difficult to see how the court could come to any other verdict.

Judge Nathan Erasmus said the question was whether another court looking at the matter differently could come to another conclusion.

Read more: Cheers in Vredendal court as farmer who murdered seasonal worker is handed life sentence

"I've imposed the harshest sentence a court can impose. Sentence is not an easy matter. But there are prospects that another court could come to a different conclusion."

He granted the application for leave to appeal before a full bench.

Erasmus said he didn't believe there were grounds to release him on bail ahead of his appeal.

Visser remains behind bars.

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