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Helderstroom Murders of 1999

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Murders and Trial[edit]

On the morning of January 29,1999, three prison wardens from Helderstroom, South Africa, was allegedly attacked and killed in a robbery gone-wrong. Wardens, Howard Adams (22),Samantha May (23) and Adolf van Wyngaard (25) were shot to death when they were on their way to Caledon, South Africa to bank R60 000. In 2001 Shaun Voigt, a warden also from Helderstroom, was apparently "shocked" to hear that he was suspected of the killings.Voigt (27) testified in his own defence in the case against him, fellow warden Danie van Schalkwyk, and a mechanic from Worcester, Jacobus Opperman (28). They all pleaded not guilty. Voigt denied any involvement in the incident. He told the court that he hitch-hiked to Heldestroom prison on the morning of the incident, because he missed his lift. Moments before dying, May phoned the switchboard of the prison and said they have been shot and that Voigt pulled the trigger.Voight was sent to prison for in 2001.


In 2012 Voigt said that his trial was unfair. He approached the Western Cape High Court for leave to appeal his conviction after more than 10 years in prison.Van Schalkwyk, who provided Voigt with the schedule to the vehicle so he could rob his colleagues, was acquitted of the murder charges after the court found he could not have foreseen that Voigt was armed. Voigt still argued he had an unfair trial and that he was innocent. However, prosecutor Susan Galloway argued that one of the deceased had placed Voigt at the scene and did not have a motive to falsely implicate him.Judge Hlophe dismissed the leave to appeal application. Shaun has since been out on parole, unfairly, according to the families of the deceased.


[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

  1. "Trial was unfair, says killer prison warder".
  2. "Warder 'shocked' to be suspected of killing".
  4. "Title: In 1999 is drie bewaarders Samantha May,... - Julian Jansen".
  5. "Image: In 1999 is drie bewaarders Samantha May,... - Julian Jansen".

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