Marthinus van Der Walt (35), the man convicted of murdering Cape Town based paediatrician, Dr Louis Heyns (59), has received life imprisonment for the murder.
Van Der Walt was found guilty of the gruesome 2013 murder on Tuesday in the Western Cape High Court.
Judge Andre le Grange, who presided over the trial, found van der Walt not guilty of kidnapping, saying that the State had failed to prove its case. However, van Der Walt was found guilty of robbery with aggravated circumstances and murder.
Dr Heyns, who was also a Stellenbosch University academic, disappeared after leaving his brother’s home in Somerset West on the 22nd of May 2013. His body was found eight days later in a shallow grave.
It is purported that Dr Heyns was hijacked after leaving his brother’s home at 8:20pm and murdered
Throughout the trial, the defendant claimed that he met Dr Heyns in a male prostitution hot spot in the Strand. He went on to say that the doctor was looking for sexual favours. Van Der Walt claims that Dr Heyns insulted him, causing him to become enraged. Van Der Walt then violently assaulted and strangled Heyns.
In the beginning stages of the trial, the doctor’s wife, Dalene Heyns, testified that during their 33 years of marriage she had not once questioned her husband’s sexual orientation.
The judge made mention of the fact that during his testimony, Van der Walt admitted that Heyns had no money on him, bringing into question his statement that the doctor wanted to pay for sex.
Van der Walt was sentenced to a further 15 years in prison for the robbery, with the Judge ordering that the two sentences run concurrently.
During sentencing, Judge le Grange said Marthinus van der Walt has made crime his life since the age of 17 and would be impossible to rehabilitate.