Free State farmer gets life for murder after cops find three bodies on farm

Johan Pieter Sonnenberg, 62, was sentenced for murder in the Virginia high court on Thursday.
Johan Pieter Sonnenberg, 62, was sentenced for murder in the Virginia high court on Thursday.
Image: Gallo Images/ IStock

A Free State farmer was sentenced to three life terms for murdering three young men.

Johan Pieter Sonnenberg, 62, was sentenced in the Virginia high court on Thursday for the murders of brothers Michael Grant, 20, and Jerome Desmond Grant, 28, and their friend Riaan Ruiters, 23.

Police spokesperson said the trio were reported missing at the Christiana police station in the North West back in 2014.

Police spokesperson Brig Motantsi Sam Makhele said they were last seen with Sonnenberg crossing over the bridge to his game farm Diamant on the border between Christiana in North West and Hertzogville in the Free State.

Makhele said a search warrant was obtained to search his game farm.

"During the search a foul smell was detected and national forensic services were contacted from Pretoria to help in exhume the bodies in the shallow graves."

Sonnenberg was arrested on the spot. Police also found different types of ammunition at his house.


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