‘Forgive me so I can forgive myself’: Franziska killer’s plea read out in court

Howard Oliver (back) listens as Judge Katharina Savage convicts him in the High Court in Cape Town of the murder and rape of Franziska Blochliger in Tokai forest in March 2016
Picture: Anthony Molyneaux

Franziska Blöchliger’s murderer will have to wait another six days to hear his fate.

Howard Oliver‚ 28‚ was found guilty on Wednesday of raping‚ robbing and murdering the 16-year-old in Tokai‚ Cape Town‚ last year.

In a letter drafted as a Christian “prayer”‚ read in court on Thursday by his legal aid representative‚ Oliver said he prayed every evening and asked to be considered for parole.

But Judge Kate Savage said that there was “no explanation for this dastardly deed” and pondered whether he was a danger to society.

State advocate Lenro Badenhorst pointed out that Oliver had worn a Muslim garment a few days ago in court. Now he appeared to be “falling back on the Christian religion”.

Oliver’s letter said: “Please forgive me so I can start forgiving myself. By forgiving me you will set my soul free even though my body is locked up.”

Oliver qualified his request for parole saying‚ “I have two daughters that I want to rejoin”.

In another letter read out in the High Court in Cape Town‚ two months after Franziska’s murder‚ he pleaded for forgiveness. But he went on to plead not guilty to murder and rape.

His lawyer said he had been “influenced by inmates” at Pollsmoor prison to change his version of events and plead not guilty.

“If he had real remorse he would have pleaded guilty from the start instead of putting the family through the ordeal of … a trial.” said Badenhorst

Savage adjourned sentencing until June 7.

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