‘Ninja Killer’ out on parole after serving minimum sentence

Morné Harmse, the infamous ‘Ninja Killer’ has been granted parole, something the family of murdered Jacques Pretorius, is not happy about. 

 Morné Harmse being consoled by his father at the sentence hearing in September 2009. File photo: Neil McCartney/ The Citizen

Convicted murderer and infamous ‘Ninja Killer’, Morné Harmse, has been placed on parole on March 3 this year after serving his legislated minimum detention period on June 9, 2019.

Harmse was convicted of murder and three charges of attempted murder, and was sentenced to an effective 20 years imprisonment.

National spokesperson for the Department of Correctional Services, Singabakho Nxumalo, said although Harmse completed his legislated minimum detention period on June 9, 2019 already, his full sentence is set to be served only on March 9, 2029.

“He was then considered for parole placement and it was confirmed for March 3, 2022,” Nxumalo said.

Nxumalo added Harmse appeared before the Zonderwater Management Area Correctional Supervision and Parole Board (CSPB) in Cullinan about eight times. He was granted seven further profiles because of outstanding issues which needed to be addressed before he could be granted parole.

Harmse was engaged in the Victim Offender Participation (VOP) on December 9, 2019, where the victims were present.

In the VOP, he was granted further profile due to outstanding substance abuse and gangsterism programmes, and a reconfirmation of support system and social work report, regarding an assessment of the family which are required to assist the CSPB in making an informed decision.

Harmse is subjected to strict parole conditions (which will not be disclosed publicly) and will be monitored. His parole placement grants powers to the department to monitor him and if he is found not to be complying with the conditions of his placement, DCS can revoke his parole.

“The aim of the parole system is to protect the community through prevention, rehabilitation, control and supervision of parolees. The success of parole is closely related to the effectiveness of the supervision provided,” explained Nxumalo.

Last week, during an exclusive interview with EWN‘s Barry Bateman and News editor Clinton Botha in Cresta, Johannesburg, Leonie Pretorius, the aunt of the victim and the Pretorius family spokesperson, expressed her shock about Harmse’s release on parole.

I was very shocked when I saw in an email from correctional services that he had been granted parole. The time he served was insufficient,” she said.

(The full interview will be available in the Krugersdorp News print edition dated March 18.)

Leonie Pretorius, the aunt of the victim and the Pretorius family spokesperson. Photo: Clinton Botha.

The tragic events in 2008

On Monday, August 18, 2008 then matric learner Harmse, aged 18, entered the Hoër Tegniese Skool N Diederichs Technical High School premises (called Nic Diederichs HTS at the time) armed with a katana, also known as a samurai or Japanese sword, and wearing so-called ninja clothing, according to then Krugersdorp Police Captain, Jacob Raboroko.

Harmse also donned a mask resembling what’s known as a ‘maggot mask’, assumedly imitating the masks predominantly worn by the death metal band Slipknot, which was reported to be among Harmse’s favourites.

The News reported at the time that the matric learner, who was later identified as Harmse, attacked Grade 9 learner, Jacques Pretorius, in a school hallway during the school’s morning assembly, driving the katana into his neck.

Harmse also seriously injured another learner and two workers at the school.

Raboroko said Harmse allegedly told other learners that Satan had commanded him to kill someone, or he would be killed himself.

Jacques Pretorius.

Harmse reportedly discarded the katana in the assembly quad after the attacks. His hearing started on August 31, 2009 in the High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Division.

On September 10, Harmse was handed down a 20-year sentence in the South Gauteng High Court by Judge Phillip Hattingh – 18 years for the murder for Jacques Pretorius and a further eight years for the attack on learner Stephanus Bouwer. He was sentenced to five years each for the attack on school workers Lesiba Manamela en Tsiamo Kodisang. These would be served concurrently with the murder sentence.

Judge Hattingh also suggested that Harmse receive psychiatric treatment and rehabilitation during his time in jail.

Pretorius cousins Monique and Jacques.

Read original story on krugersdorpnews.co.za