Vioolsdrift man remains behind bars after fatal shooting


Jacobus (Japie) Dawid Claassens (59) appeared in the Springbok District Court for the second time on Tuesday after he allegedly shot two men at his home on a small holding in the Vioolsdrift area.

RNews earlier reported that the two men, aged between 54 and 56, died of gunshot wounds in an Upington hospital last Wednesday.

RNews learned that one of them was believed to be a lawyer from Knysna and the other a protea farmer from Cape Town.

Claassens, who was allegedly on the smallholding with the two victims and two other guests during the incident, has since handed himself over to the police. He is apparently also the owner of the farm.

Mojalefa Senokoatsane, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in the Northern Cape, says that when the police arrived at Claassens’ house, they found two victims in a dangerous condition. They were then rushed to Springbok for medical treatment.

“One of the victims was apparently shot while he was sleeping,” says Senokoatsane.

“The accused was arrested and initially charged with two counts of attempted murder. However, the victims have since died from their gunshot wounds, after which the charges were changed to two counts of murder.”

It is still unclear at this stage what led to the shooting. The men were reportedly friends.

The accused appeared in the Springbok District Court on Tuesday, after which the case was adjourned until November 15 for a possible bail application.

“The prosecutor will oppose this bail application, while the accused remains in custody until his next court appearance,” says Senokoatsane.

“The police investigation continues.”