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Elderly Killer: 87-Year-Old Dieter Bergs Guns Down Wife and Lands in Jail

An elderly man in Johannesburg was found guilty of the murder of his wife in a case that lasted for more than eight years and was finally resolved this week.

Dieter Bergs, age 87, was found guilty by the High Court in Johannesburg on Friday of shooting his wife Genee, age 70, at their home in Parktown North in 2014. The incident occurred in 2014.

In what sounded like a re-run of Oscar Pistorius’s story, Dieter Bergs stated that his wife was killed when an intruder entered their home and shot her dead. So an intruder guns down the wife and Bergs claims imaginary intruders killed her.

On the other hand, the court found an overwhelming amount of evidence that he was the one who had killed her, and Dieter Bergs was also found guilty of fraud.

dieter bergs on his way to court

The victim’s niece, Genee White, expressed her satisfaction that justice had been carried out. It was a long and arduous eight and a half years, but now we finally have justice.

Because of Bergs’s advanced age, the court ruled during his sentencing that he will spend the rest of his life subject to house arrest at a care facility located in Somerset West.

What led to the shooting?

Geneé Bergs, who was 70 years old, was found dead in her bed in their Parktown North residence after being shot. Her Dieter was celebrating 15 years of marriage at the time.

gun on a table

Dieter Bergs reported to the police that he was in the study after he heard two loud fringes and that his wife was sleeping at the time. When he set out to find out, he discovered that someone had broken into the building. He pursued the other individual and wound up being struck in the hip.

There were two 7.65mm pistols in the house: one that Bergs obtained from another person for security and placed next to the bed, and one that he bought legally in 1976, but had misplaced and overlooked. Both guns were of the same calibre.

What led to Dieter’s conviction?

However, Geneé’s daughter Minnie has devoted her entire life to seeking justice for her murdered mother.

Dieter Bergs suffered an injury that was later determined to have been self-inflicted, according to Melissa Bayat, the state prosecutor who investigated the incident.

Several months following the murder, Bergs was taken into custody; however, the charges brought against him were eventually dropped as a result of the invalidation of a ballistic report that was presented in the case.

In August of 2016, Minnie filed a complaint with the National Prosecuting Authority as well as the commissioner of the Gauteng police department.

This resulted in the commissioning of an investigation in the year 2017. The inquest came to the conclusion that Dieter Bergs should face charges for the alleged offense.

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After that, he was arrested again in 2020 and out on bail in the amount of R10,000. In addition to that, he was facing extra charges of fraud, possessing a firearm without a license, possessing ammunition, and uttering.

He stood accused of fabricating Genée’s signature in order to turn over shares to himself.

The trial of Dieter Bergs was scheduled to begin, but a psychiatric report concluded that he was not in a fit mental state to proceed with the trial.

Minnie stated outside of the court at the time, “I am just sorry it wasn’t achieved eight years ago, but I am glad we are finally coming to a result,”

Minnie explained the reason why she did not give up the fight for her mother by saying: That despite the fact that her stepfather and her parents had been married for 15 years at the time of the incident, she had never trusted her stepfather.

“I never liked him. Friends of my mother’s never took a liking to him. My friends never liked him. That ought to enlighten you on something. I did not appreciate his haughtiness or his loud mouth at all. It was never about doing anything but talking, and we were constantly making promises.

Dieter Bergs argued in court, through the assistance of his attorney, Ian Allis, that he was not economically dependent on his wife.

The state alleged that if Bergs’s wife passed away, he would receive a payout of R4 million from an insurance policy.

Bayat was unable to comment on the location of the policy’s holdings or confirm or deny the existence of a payout.

Allis argued that this demonstrated there was no policy and that this proved his point.

Instead, he stated that the couple lived a lavish lifestyle that was beyond their means.

“There is no indication that there are any financial problems. Only individuals who stood to benefit from [Genèe’s will] made those kinds of statements. They stand to inherit more if Mr. Dieter Bergs is not included in the equation.

87 year old dieter berg with his lawyer

There is not a single shred of evidence to suggest that he relied monetarily on the person who has passed away. What we are in a position to demonstrate is that both the accused and the deceased led excessively extravagant lifestyles. Allis argued that even if the accused were to kill the deceased person, it would not help the accused with his financial problems and would, in fact, make them worse.

Minnie stated that despite the fact that he was named in his wife’s will as a beneficiary of their estate, he had not yet received any money from the estate due to the ongoing legal proceedings.

Can an 80 year old go to jail in South Africa?

Yes, an 80-year-old can go to jail in South Africa if they are found guilty of committing a crime. Age does not exempt someone from criminal liability in most legal systems, including South Africa. If an individual, regardless of their age, is convicted of a crime and sentenced to imprisonment, they can be incarcerated.

What happens when the guilty person is more than 70 years of age?

When determining the appropriate punishment for a guilty person in South Africa, the offender’s age may be taken into consideration if they are older than 70 years old. When determining an appropriate sentence for the defendant, the court has the discretion to take into consideration a number of factors, including the defendant’s age, health, and personal circumstances. The objective is to make certain that the punishment is fair and just, taking into account the vulnerabilities that are associated with age in the individual.

Depending on the nature of the offense and the circumstances surrounding the offender, the court may in some instances consider alternatives to incarceration, such as community service or a sentence suspension, rather than incarceration itself. The particular outcome would be determined by the specifics of the case as well as the decision made by the court. It is essential to keep in mind that sentencing decisions are formulated on a case-by-case basis and that there is no universal guideline that governs the treatment of all people who are at least 70 years old.

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