Man who killed robbers in church shooting cleared
A police investigation has determined that Pieter van der Westhuizen acted in self-defence when he shot dead two armed robbers who targeted churchgoers at the Querencia Ministries Church in Centurion last year, notes a TimeLIVE report.
Van der Westhuizen's legal representative Ulrich Roux said yesterday the police confirmed during their investigation that his actions in all probability resulted in the prevention of any innocent churchgoers being hurt or killed by the robbers.
Van der Westhuizen, an ex-policeman, allegedly produced his own firearm and shots were fired, fatally wounding two suspects who had attempted to rob congregants while the church service was under way in July 2020.
A third suspect ran off.
‘In accordance with the inquest procedure, an investigation was conducted by the SAPS in order to determine whether our client acted negligently and/or without any lawful justification when he shot and killed the two robbers,’ Roux said in a statement.
He said charges against his client were withdrawn and the docket had been closed.
Van der Westhuizen is the brother of the late Springbok rugby player Joost van der Westhuizen. According to earlier police reports, three suspects stormed into the church during a service and robbed congregants at gunpoint.
They repeatedly pistol-whipped pastor Kobus Erasmus, before forcibly taking valuables away from members of the congregation.
Article disclaimer: While we have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this article, it is not intended to provide final legal advice as facts and situations will differ from case to case, and therefore specific legal advice should be sought with a lawyer.