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Kraaibosch murderer sentenced

On Tuesday 27 Mach 2018 the Knysna Circuit Court sentenced Johan Claassen to 25 years behind bars for the murder of 77 year old Isabella Kruger in her home in Kraaibosch Estate, George.

Claassen pleaded guilty to charges of murder, housebreaking, and robbery and was sentenced to serve 25 years in prison after reaching a plea bargain with prosecutors.

For housebreaking, Claassen was sentenced to 5 years, for robbery he was sentenced to ten years, and 25 years for murder. The sentences will run concurrently.

During sentencing, Claassen told the court that he entered the home of Kruger during the early hours of 18 March 2017 while under the influence of alcohol and methamphetamine.

Claassen found a portable computer in the lounge area, and then proceeded to move to the bedroom where he found a container with items made from gold. He also saw a cell phone next to the bed where Kruger was sleeping. She was alone at the time.

Before he could take the cell phone, Kruger woke up and sat upright in her bed. According to Claassen, he was afraid that Kruger may start screaming and place his hand over her mouth. A scuffle ensued during which Kruger fell and bumped her head.

Claassen then fled the scene with the stolen goods. He later returned to the scene where he tried to revive Kruger where she was lying motionless on the floor. In an effort to wake his victim, Claassen started filling the bathtub and placing Kruger inside the bath. That is when he realised that she may be dead.

Claassen then took the keys to the victim's vehicle and drove in the direction of Wilderness Heights where he hid the stolen items in a bush and drove off. He then caused an accident on the Old George Knysna Road and left the vehicle behind, fleeing on foot.

Police followed leads and arrested Claassen shortly after the incident.


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