Almost three years after electrician, Petrus Hendrik Scholtz, was beaten and stuffed into a freezer, those responsible for his murder have been jailed…

On Wednesday, the High Court of South Africa: Eastern Cape Division, Port Elizabeth sentenced mother and daughter, Christine Helena Russouw (58) and Chantell Russouw (38) respectively to 15 and 20 years imprisonment for the murder of their family electrician.

Chantell’s son, Wayne Albert Russouw (34), was also involved in planning the brutal murder which took place because Wayne ‘wanted Scholtz’s tools’.

Murder planned by family

On the evening of 16 July 2018, Wayne fetched Ronald Swartz (27) in Central and took him to his home. Wayne and Swartz had been acquaintances for six years and when they were at the house Wayne explained his plan to Swartz.

Christine then called electrician Scholtz and asked him to come fix the geyser. Scholtz arrived, fixed the geyser and left.

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The following day Swartz, Wayne, Christine and Chantell planned the murder and Wayne promised to pay Swartz R10 000 for his role in the murder. Wayne then called Scholtz to come fetch his payment for the job he had done the previous day.

Beaten, stuffed in freezer

Scholtz arrived shortly after 8pm and Swartz grabbed him from behind while Wayne beat him up with a baton on the head until he became unconscious.

Wayne tied Scholtz up and together with Swartz placed him in the chest freezer. Christine cleaned the kitchen floor which was covered in blood.

Wayne and his sister Chantell then went and bought food at a fast-food outlet with money Wayne had stolen from Scholtz’s wallet.

The following day on 18 July 2018, the siblings drove with Scholtz’s Isuzu bakkie to Cash Crusaders where they sold the deceased’s electrical equipment. During the evening Wayne and Swartz removed Scholtz’s body from the chest freezer, loaded it into the Isuzu bakkie.

They drove with Chantell and went to dump the body in a bushy area. The body was discovered the following day by a pedestrian who alerted police.

Wayne then informed his girlfriend that his mother and sister had killed a man

The girlfriend confronted Chantell who then told her that it was Wayne and his acquaintance who had killed the man.

Wayne and Christine sold the bakkie for R10 000.

On 20 July 2018 Wayne sold the chest freezer together with other items which belonged to Scholtz.

Wayne, Christine and Chantell were arrested at their home on the evening of 20 July 2018. Police found a number of items in the house which belonged to Scholtz. Swartz was arrested six days later.

Wayne & Swatz sentenced

In December 2020, Wayne was sentenced to life imprisonment while Swartz was sentenced to 25 years for the crimes they committed.

Judge Elna Revelas said Christine and Chantell lied throughout the trial and as the trial progressed the lies became more and more ridiculous.

Advocate Marius Stander, pointed out that they had ample time to own up to what they did. Judge Revelas said the two showed no remorse for what they did.

However, she took into consideration that they were first time offenders and sentenced Chantell to 20 years for murder and 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances. She sentenced Christine to 15 years for murder and 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances.

 

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