Raymond Buys’ mother welcomes guilty verdict

Picture: Thinkstock

Picture: Thinkstock

The mother of a 15-year-old boy who died after being abused at a camp said she was happy that both accused were found guilty of murder by the Vereeniging Regional Court on Friday.

“I have mixed emotions, but I’m happy that they were both found guilty and that it’s come to an end,” said Wilna Buys.

Magistrate Retha Willemse found Alex de Koker and Michael Erasmus guilty of murder, child abuse and assault.

Their charges related to the death of 15-year-old Raymond Buys at the Echo Wild Rangers Camp in 2011.

Wilna said the four years since Raymond’s death had had a huge impact on their family and that they were only now starting to pick up the pieces.

“I think he’s sitting and smiling down on us and is proud of everything we’ve done,” she said, bursting into tears.

“It wasn’t easy to be here all the time, but we made a promise to Raymond.”

Erasmus’s father, Casper, said he felt guilty for sending his son to the camp.

“Alex [de Koker] pulled the wool over my eyes. I feel guilty because I forced Michael to go.

“But thankfully I still have my child. The Buys family is sitting without their child. It’s a nightmare.”

Michael Erasmus’s stepmother Betsie Erasmus said they were glad the trial was drawing to an end.

“Michael was also just a child when he went to the camp. He was easily influenced.”

Operations manager of Women and Men Against Child Abuse, Tania Otto, said the judgment was excellent.

“We’re very surprised that the magistrate found them guilty of murder because judges seems hesitant of that.”

After the judgment, De Koker, wearing a bright pink shirt with his feet cuffed together, gave his wife a long hug over the dock before a number of police officers led him back to the holding cells.

Michael Erasmus sat with his father, stepmother, girlfriend Sindie Nel and their five-day-old daughter outside the court room.


Erasmus and de Koker found guilty


today in print