Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Unholy Homicide, Part One

Samuel Kekana's Trial

In February 2004, Samuel Kekana's trial began at the Johannesburg courthouse.  According to reports in The Star, Kekana claimed to have killed his son in self-defense and denied chopping up the corpse.  However, he offered no explanation as to why he never involved the authorities.  When Judge Nareen Pandya heard Kekana's defense, he picked up the Bible and quoted a scripture, which read: "The father forgave him and opened his arms and welcomed him."

"But that was quite different," the accused, Reverend Samuel Kekana, said.  "I did all I could.  I had him put in a reformatory.  The community complained because he stole things."

Queenie then testified to the crime she witnessed and stated that Kekana had two sides to his character, one for the public and one that only his family knew.  "I did not know him as a loving and caring father.  I knew him as a violent person," she said.  Upon hearing his daughter's testimony, Kekana said she had, "never shown respect and would do anything to hurt me."

During closing arguments, prosecuting attorney Hein van der Merwe stated Kekana's self-defense story was nothing more then a fabrication.  The only thing Kekana's defense attorney could counter with was that Kekana was respected in the community and that he had the support of his congregation.  Kekana sat expressionless during the entire trial and often held his hands as if he was praying.

On June 4, 2004, Judge Naren Pandya found Reverend Samuel Kekana guilty of murdering his son and of intimidating his family members to remain silent.  However, in a surprising turn of events, reported that Judge Pandya said he would show Kekana the mercy he had not shown his son.  Pointing out Kekana's age and ill health, Judge Pandya sentenced him to three years' house arrest, 576 hours community service and ordered him to undergo a rehabilitation program.  Following his sentencing, Reverend Kekana told the press that regardless of his conviction, he would find a way to continue preaching to his congregation. 

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