A 21-year-old man convicted of two murders in Stella has been given two life sentences in the North West High Court in Mahikeng.
Xander Bylsma was found guilty on two counts of murder.
Xander Blysma is found guilty of the murder of two school girls:
His sentence follows an incident in which two girls, 17-year-old Marna Engelbrecht and 16-year-old Sharnelle Hough, were killed in May 2018. The bodies of the girls were found at the hostel at Hoërskool Stella in the North West.
Hough is reported to have been in a relationship with the accused.
Bylsma strangled the girls and tried to make their deaths look like suicide.
“On count one, that is the murder of Sharnelle Hough, you are sentenced to life imprisonment. On count two, that is the murder of Marna Engelbrecht, you are sentenced to life imprisonment. In terms of Section 103 of the Firearms Control Act of 60 of 2000, you are declared unfit to possess a firearm,” said Judge Ronald Hendricks as he handed out the sentence.
While giving evidence in December, Bylsma told the court that he knew nothing about the incident. However, he admitted that he had sent the victims SMSes threatening them days before the incident.
The court also heard that Bylsma had a heated exchange over the phone with Brandon Victor, who was in a romantic relationship with one of the deceased.
He had also been denied bail after it emerged that he had written to his mother, telling her that he planned to flee to Botswana.