Guilty as sin: Boland serial killer Johan Williams convicted of murder, kidnapping and rape

The Boland serial killer, Johan Williams has been convicted in the Western Cape High Court. Picture: Mahira Duval/Independent Newspapers

The Boland serial killer, Johan Williams has been convicted in the Western Cape High Court. Picture: Mahira Duval/Independent Newspapers

Published Feb 20, 2024


The Boland serial killer who lured women to their death with the promise of a job was convicted in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday.

Johan Williams faced 20 charges including three counts of murder, six counts of rape, six counts of kidnapping, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm (GBH), two counts of attempted rape, and a count of failure to comply with a protection order.

After years of delays and shenanigans from Williams’ end, the families of his victims can now breathe a bit lighter.

In convicting Williams, the court has found he kidnapped and murdered Natalie Jonkers, 35, on July 16, 2012, after helping her to get a loan.

Maria Isaacs was lured by Williams with a promise of a job.

She was buried on Helpmekaar Farm from 2012 until her skeletal remains were exhumed in 2018.

He was also accused of raping and murdering Maria Isaacs, 33, of Malmesbury, who went to Wellington in June 2018 after he promised her a job. The court found him guilty of murder and kidnapping.

During Isaacs’ disappearance, Chantell Mathyssen, 21, from Kuilsriver also went missing after meeting Williams, who had promised her a job in Wellington. The court found him guilty of kidnapping, rape and murder.

The bodies of Isaacs and Matthyssen were found on the same day in July 2018.

Chantell Matthysen was only 21 years old at the time of her murder.

The bodies of the women were found in shallow graves on Aubon Rue Farm in the Boland area.

Cops arrested him at Ongegund Farm after a tip-off.

Before his arrest, Williams stabbed and raped his ex-girlfriend multiple times at knifepoint.

As the trial progressed, forensic evidence submitted to the court detailed that all three women had sustained strangulation ligature marks when they were found.

Williams was also found in possession of the victims’ belongings.

In her judgment, Judge Rosheni Allie highlighted the killing pattern that seemed to emerge when Williams perpetrated the horrendous crimes.

In her testimony, forensic pathologist, Dr Denise Lourens found the women were all found tied up. They had a sock, scarf, or shoelaces tied around their necks, in a double or triple knot.

She testified that sticks were kept in the knots, so the person who had tied the victims could tighten the knots. Ligature marks were also found around the necks of the women which was an indication of strangulation.

Last week, Williams was set to testify in his defence, however, he did a U-turn and he retracted and instead chose to remain silent.

His defence counsel had no witnesses to call and their case was closed.

Prior to judgment, the defence also brought forth a Section 174 application.

This application was brought before the court in respect of one of the charges against him, the rape of Maria Isaacs.

Williams’ defence lawyer, Jacques Du Preez argued there was no DNA evidence linked to sexual assault or rape due to the state of decomposition of the body and asked the court to discharge this charge. It was granted.

However, Judge Allie found that the State proved that Williams perpetrated the charges against him beyond reasonable doubt.

He was found guilty of three counts of murder, six counts of kidnapping, six counts of rape, assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, attempted rape, failure to comply with a protection order, housebreaking with the intent to commit arson, and arson.

Previously the families of Isaacs and Matthysen told IOL they wanted justice for their relatives and putting Williams behind bars is only when they could find some sort of relief, closure and try to move on.

Sentencing proceedings will begin on March 4.

[email protected]

IOL News