The family of a Cape Town teenager who was strangled, stabbed and beheaded in 2013 wants his killer to spend life behind bars.
In a surprise turn of events on Monday, Aljar Swartz admitted in the Western Cape High Court to killing 15-year-old Lee Adams.
He said in a document handed up during his trial that he had beheaded the Ravensmead teenager so he could sell body parts to a sangoma.
The teenager’s aunt, Letitia van Schalkwyk, told News24 outside the court that their loved one did not deserve to die like that. “He was a pleasant child, a joy to us,” she said through tears.
She recalled bathing him as a baby and taking him to Sunday school. Adams apparently always had his earphones on because he loved music.
His aunt said he had been in the process of getting his learner’s licence. He also wanted to get a job waiting tables so he could help his mother financially.
In jail for life
“We just want him [Swartz] to be in jail for the rest of his life. He should be taken away from his family like he took our child away from us,” said Van Schalkwyk.
Adams’ father Deon was visibly emotional after hearing that sentencing arguments would be heard next month. “Ek voel verlig [I feel relieved],” he said.
He didn’t know what to believe about the confession, but was also convinced a life sentence should be imposed. “Hy moet nie uitkom nie [He mustn’t come out].”
A security guard found the boy’s body at the school. The head was later found in a shallow grave in the accused’s yard.
“Although I consumed alcohol and dagga during the day of October 17, 2013, I could still appreciate the wrongfulness of my conduct. I was a follower of Satan at the time,” Swartz said in his admission.
He acknowledged that he intentionally incited, instigated, persuaded and encouraged four men to lure a victim to Ravensmead to be killed for body parts.
He also claimed ownership of a bloody fingerprint on a wall at the crime scene and a tissue found in his bin that contained Adams’ blood.