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Murderer sentenced to life imprisonment plus 80 years for killing elderly women

Media Statement
Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation


MPUMALANGA – Today, 16 May 2022, the Pretoria Regional Court sentenced the serial murderer, Shaun Oosthuizen (42) to additional fourth direct life imprisonment for murder plus 80 years imprisonment for robbery with aggravating circumstances.

On 8 July 2018, the accused travelled from Gauteng to Nelspruit where he went to Macadamia Old Age Home to rob and kill Henrietta Catharina Potgieter (85). He was arrested and was later released on bail after his persistent applications.

While he was out on bail, the accused further committed another murder of an elderly resident, Barbara Esme Fenton (74) by strangling her to death on 1 September 2018 at her home in Alberton. The Hawks’ investigation led to the arrest of Oosthuisen immediately after the incident and he was further linked to another murder that occurred on 24 June 2018 where Engela Van Wyk (86) was killed and robbed at Rus n’ Bietjie Old Age Home in Springs.

The case was finalised where the accused was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment for Van Wyk's murder and 15 years imprisonment for robbery with aggravating circumstances.

In December 2019, Oosthuizen was sentenced to life imprisonment for Fenton's death and 20 years imprisonment for robbery with aggravating circumstances. He was sentenced to serve a total of three life sentences for killing three old women and 50 years for further robbing them.

During his life imprisonment Shaun confessed to the investigating officer that he have already killed other victims in Sunnyside and Roodepoort. Investigation revealed that in December 2015, the accused broke into an old age home in Sunnyside whereby he robbed and killed Ema Gossen (93) and fled the scene with her jewellery valued at R50 000.

The investigation further linked him with another incident which took place in Roodepoort in August 2018 whereby the accused used the same modus operandi. He murdered and robbed the victim, Lillas Merry (77) and fled the scene with jewellery also valued at R50 000.

Today, 16 May 2022 the Pretoria Regional Court added extra life imprisonment for murder plus 30 years imprisonment for aggravating circumstances and bringing the total number to four life imprisonment plus eighty (80) years imprisonment.

The Hawks’ Provincial Head, Major General Zodwa Mokoena applauded the investigating team for securing such substantial life sentences. "We appreciate the collaboration between the investigators and judiciary for ensuring that the heartless criminal who tormented the elderly who could not fight for themselves is removed from the community”, she said. She further urged anyone who is responsible for safeguarding of the elderly to take extra care as they cannot fight for themselves.


Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi
071 481 3493