Wernich Botha, a 33-year-old South African man, has been accused of murdering Hilton Pretorius, a 32-year-old father of two, in a vicious attack that took place in a parking lot of a shopping centre in Klerksdorp, North West province, on September 3, 2023. The incident, which was captured on video and circulated on social media, shocked the nation and raised questions about the motive and background of the assailant. Here is what we know about Wernich Botha and his life so far.
Wernich Botha Faces Murder Charges After Having A Fight at Klerksdorp Parking Lot Assault
Wernich Botha, the man who allegedly assaulted two men in a parking lot of a shopping centre in Klerksdorp, North West province, on September 3, 2023, is now facing a murder charge after one of his victims died in hospital.
Hilton Pretorius, a 32-year-old father of two, succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday 20th September, 2023 morning at the Klerksdorp/Tshepong Hospital. He had suffered a cracked skull, bleeding on the brain, and multiple stab wounds in the brutal attack that was captured on video and circulated on social media.
The other victim, PW Roos, a 44-year-old shop owner who tried to intervene and stop the assault, survived but sustained a concussion, a dislocated shoulder, and 17 stitches on his head.
|Date of Birth
|33 years old
|Farmer, Security Contractor
|One son (from previous relationship)
|Muscular build, short brown hair, blue eyes, fair complexion
All About Wernich Botha Lovely Family
Wernich Botha was born in 1990 in South Africa. Botha is currently 33 years old (as of 2023). He grew up in a middle-class family with his parents and an elder brother. His father, Mr. Botha, was a farmer and his mother, Mrs. Botha, was a homemaker.
Wernich attended a local school and completed his matriculation in 2008. He then enrolled in a college to study agriculture, but dropped out after a year. He later joined his father’s farm and helped him with the daily operations.
He has a background in Farming
Wernich Botha was not only a farmer, but also a security contractor who worked for various private companies and individuals. He had received training in firearms, self-defense, and tactical operations from a former military officer. He had also participated in several anti-poaching missions in the Kruger National Park and other wildlife reserves. He was known to be skilled, brave, and loyal among his colleagues and clients.
He Suspected his Girlfriend Of Having an Affair with another man
Wernich Botha was married to Natasha Fischer Klerksdorp, a 28-year-old hairdresser, in 2019. They had met through a mutual friend and fell in love. They had no children of their own, but Wernich had a son from a previous relationship. His son, Liam Botha, was 10 years old and lived with his mother in Johannesburg. Wernich used to visit him regularly and pay for his education and expenses.
Wernich and Natasha had a happy marriage until they faced some problems in their relationship in 2023. According to some sources, Wernich suspected that Natasha was having an affair with Hilton Pretorius, a mechanic who worked at a nearby garage. Wernich had confronted Natasha about it several times, but she denied it. He had also tried to contact Hilton, but he did not respond to his calls or messages.
The Fatal Attack
On September 3, 2023, Wernich decided to confront Hilton face-to-face and settle the matter once and for all. He drove to the Doringkruin Spar shopping center where Hilton was shopping with his wife and two children. He parked his blue Toyota Land Cruiser near Hilton’s car and waited for him to come out.
As soon as Hilton came out of the store with his family, Wernich Botha got out of his vehicle and walked towards him. He then punched him hard on the face, knocking him down to the ground. He then kicked him repeatedly on the head and chest, causing severe injuries. Hilton’s wife screamed for help and tried to stop Wernich, but he pushed her away.
A bystander, PW Roos, who owned a shop in the same centre, saw the attack and rushed to intervene. He grabbed Wernich from behind and tried to pull him away from Hilton. However, Wernich managed to free himself from Roos’s grip and hit him on the back of the head with a metal rod that he had hidden in his jacket. Roos fell down unconscious and bleeding from his wound.
Wernich then returned to Hilton, who was lying motionless on the ground. He took out a knife from his pocket and stabbed him several times in the neck and chest. He then stood up and looked around at the horrified crowd that had gathered around them. He shouted something unintelligible and then stabbed himself in the chest.
The police arrived at the scene shortly after and arrested Wernich. They also called for an ambulance to take Hilton and Roos to the hospital. However, Hilton was declared dead on arrival due to excessive blood loss and brain damage. Roos survived the attack but suffered from a concussion, a dislocated shoulder, and 17 stitches on his head.
The Aftermath & Charges
Wernich Botha was charged with murder, attempted murder, and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. He appeared in the Klerksdorp Magistrate’s Court on September 11, 2023, where he pleaded not guilty to all charges. He claimed that he acted in self-defence after Hilton attacked him first. He also said that he loved Natasha and that he did not intend to kill himself or anyone else.
He applied for bail, but his application was denied by the magistrate, who said that he posed a flight risk and a danger to the public. He was remanded in custody until his next court appearance on October 10, 2023.
Natasha Fischer, who witnessed the attack, was traumatized by the incident. She denied having any affair with Hilton and said that she loved Wernich and wanted to save their marriage. She also said that she did not know why Wernich attacked Hilton and that he had never shown any signs of violence or jealousy before.
Hilton Pretorius’s family and friends were devastated by his death. They described him as a loving husband, father, son, brother, and friend. They said that he was a hardworking, honest, and generous man who had no enemies. They also said that he had never met Wernich before and that he had nothing to do with Natasha.
The incident sparked a public outcry and a debate about the issues of domestic violence, infidelity, jealousy, and mental health in South Africa. Many people expressed their condolences to the victims’ families and condemned Wernich’s actions. Some people also called for stricter laws and harsher punishments for perpetrators of such crimes.