De Waal killers get their due
After almost two years of heartache and upheaval among Crags residents, the two men who murdered one of their own, a beloved former Bitou law enforcement member, faced the long arm of the law in the Knysna Regional Court on Friday 10 November.
The 20-year-old Franklin de Waal was killed on Valentine’s Day last year – just a few metres from his home in the Crags. His body was found by a family member in Geelhout Street on 14 February 2016. He had been stabbed in the chest and his cellphone was missing.
One of his killers, Dillon Toll (19) was sentenced to 15 years behind bars and his accomplice, a 16-year-old boy who may not be named as he is a minor, was handed an eight-year sentence. Four of these will be spent at a youth facility. Thereafter he will have to appear in court again to determine how the rest of his sentence will be served.
The teenager was also convicted of a theft charge relating to De Waal’s cellphone.
The two were arrested by Plettenberg Bay ace detective Warrant Officer John Nomdoe respectively on March 27 and April 13 last year. They applied for bail in the Knysna Magistrate’s Court, but this was denied.
The murder rocked the usually quiet community on the outskirts of Plettenberg Bay and has led to several protests by residents, including against police’s initial failure to arrest suspects they had identified as De Waal’s killers.
Some of these protests turned violent when residents marched to the house of two men they believed murdered De Waal and plundered the property. Several members were arrested following this action.
This led to further unhappiness as residents felt it “unfair” that they had been the ones behind bars and not the killers.
Residents have however since then said they felt vindicated now that the two men they initially identified, were the ones arrested by police.
Among those in the gallery during sentencing were friends and family as well as the area’s ward councillor and Bitou deputy mayor Jessica Kamkam