Martin Visser – Photo from Facebook

Lutzville farmer who murdered seasonal worker gets life sentence

Prosecutor doubtful Visser would ever change or be able to be rehabilitated.


Martin Visser – Photo from Facebook

Martin Visser, the Lutzville farmer found guilty of murdering a seasonal labourer and dragging him behind his quad bike, has been handed a life sentence.

The life sentence, handed down by Judge Nathan Erasmus, at the Western Cape High Court hearing in Vredendal on Wednesday, brings to a close the three-year saga revolving around the murder of Adam Pieterse.

According to News24, during the sentencing hearing Judge Erasmus described how the heartless and cruel actions of Visser cut short the life of Pieterse.

Life in prison for Lutzville murderer

Noting that no court outcome could ever undo the horrific murder of Pieterse, the judge added:

“Whatever the sentence, the damage that has been done cannot be corrected. His family will never have the privilege of seeing their loved one again.”

Visser, who sat emotionless in the packed courtroom, has allegedly tried to hang himself while awaiting sentencing. The jacket he used as a makeshift noose broke, resulting in a delayed hearing, as the convicted murderer had to be assessed by medical professionals.

Cheers erupted from the courtroom stands as Judge Erasmus handed down the heftiest sentence he could muster.

Visser’s defence team confirmed that they would apply for leave to appeal the sentence on Thursday.

A heartless crime

The 32-year-old Pieterse, who was fondly known as ‘Mannetjie Dukvreet’, had his life cut short when Visser assaulted him with a spade, dragged his body behind a quad bike, and buried him in a shallow grave behind his father’s farm in March 2015.

For three weeks, Pieterse’s corpse lay in a shallow grave amongst the vineyards of the neighbouring farm.

Another farmworker, Hendrina “Mooimeit” Jonkers, raised the alarm after noticing a suspicious looking Visser inspecting the area which was now buzzing with flies.

The lead prosecutor, Christenus van der Vijfer, urged the judge to hand down the highest possible sentence, saying:

“He beat him and saw the blood spatter, but didn’t step back. He threatened [Pieterese’s two friends]. He dragged Pieterse like a dead animal, then unceremoniously buried him in a shallow grave. I am doubtful he would ever change or be able to be rehabilitated.”