Skierlik killer Johan Nell to be sentenced today

Elisha Molefe

Elisha Molefe

Teenage killer Johan Nell, who gunned down four people and injured 11 others, will know his fate today in the Mmabatho high court in the North West.

Nell, who sat stone-faced and never flinched at camera flash lights since the start of the trial, pleaded guilty on Monday.

In January, Nell drove his father's bakkie into the nearby Skierlik informal settlement in Swartruggens, North West, and opened fire on residents.

Four people were killed, including a three-month-old baby and a 10-year-old boy.

State prosecutor, advocate Sello Maema, has asked the court to sentence Nell to life in jail.

However, forensic criminologist Dr Irma Labuschagne and Kobus Truter, a psychologist, recommended that Nell should be sentenced to between 20 and 25 years "because he could change".

"Although a long-term jail sentence is most appropriate, I believe he can change for the better if proper rehabilitation is administered," Truter told the court.

On Monday, with his parents present in the public gallery, Nell pleaded guilty through his lawyer, advocate Johan Engelbrecht SC.

Nell, who did not show any emotion, did not stand in the dock.

He told the court, through Truter, that shooting people "was like watching a movie".

On Wednesday, while listening to testimonies from two of the witnesses, his father Hinnie Nell shed tears in the public gallery.