Three young men were pronounced missing in 2014 after they had allegedly attended a Free State man’s farm. As the farmer later testified, he had killed the trio and buried them in a shallow grave on his farmland.
Only this week, the investigation had been closed and the Virginia High Court pronounced the sentence for Johan Pieter Sonnenberg, aged 62. He gets three life sentences for killing three men. Two victims are brothers: Michael Grant, 20, and Jerome Desmond Grant, 28; the third is their friend Riaan Ruiters, 23.
“They were last seen with Sonnenberg crossing over the bridge to his game farm Diamant on the border between Christiana in North West and Hertzogville in the Free State,” police spokesperson Brig Motantsi Sam Makhele stated.
Makhele also told that, during the search, “a foul smell was detected and national forensic services were contacted from Pretoria to help to exhume the bodies in the shallow graves”.
Once the police had discovered the three dead bodies, Sonnenberg was arrested on the spot.