Judge Andre le Grange sentenced Van der Walt for the 2013 murder of Heyns and also sentenced him to a further 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances. He ordered that the sentences run concurrently.
In passing sentence, Le Grange said Van der Walt, who began his life of crime in 1997, aged 17, could not be rehabilitated. Van der Walt was released from prison four months before the murder of Heyns. He had been serving a three-and-half year sentence for car theft.
Van der Walt was convicted on Tuesday on charges of murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances, but was acquitted on a charge of kidnapping as the State had not proved that Stellenbosch paediatrician Heyns had been hijacked on May 22 2013, and then taken to a notorious gay hotspot in the Strand where his body was found eight days later.