2 White S. African Policemen to Hang for Killing Black Youth

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Associated Press

Two white policemen were sentenced today to hang for the murder of a black teen-ager who was beaten, then shot through the head after drunken officers went on a “black-bashing expedition” in a black township.

It was the first time that any white officer has been sentenced to death for killing a black in South Africa while on duty. Only six whites have been executed for killing blacks.

Key testimony against Warrant Officer Leon de Villiers, 37, and Constable David Goosen, 27, came from other members of their 10-man riot unit who were pressured by police investigators into abandoning a cover-up attempt.


Goosen and De Villiers stood silently while the sentence was issued, but their wives and some of the court personnel broke into tears. The officers were embraced by relatives and fellow policemen before being led away.

Several officers had testified that De Villiers, the unit leader, had ordered Goosen to “take out” 18-year-old Mlungisi Stuurman because the youth had been too badly beaten to be set free. Stuurman was taken to a river bank and shot in the back of the head on July 26, 1986, in the black section of Cradock, in eastern Cape Province.