Pienaar was murdered on 19 September 2022 shortly after arriving at home in Limpopo. He was shot ten times in his driveway.

The Mokopane Magistrate’s Court has heard the man accused of the murder of lawyer and former MP Schalk Pienaar has a criminal record dating back to 2003 and has been found guilty and served sentences for several other crimes including attempted murder, robbery and theft.

The disturbing details about murder-accused Tsholofelo Joseph Motsoane’s criminal activities played out in court on Tuesday.

Motsoane is accused of the 2022 murder of Pienaar. He faces charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and other firearm-related charges and is alleged to have been the driver of the getaway car.

Bail application

During court proceedings, the state told the court that Motsoane has also been found guilty of escaping from custody while he was awaiting trial on two of the cases against him.

The state opposed bail on grounds that Motsoane would abscond, and he would tamper with evidence.

Investigator Captain Ross Rossouw stated in an affidavit that at least three other suspects have not been located nor has the murder weapon been found.

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However, the state argued it has a lawfully obtained a confession from Motsoane, as well as a statement from a witness who links Motsoane to the planning of the murder. In addition, an eyewitness places Motsoane’s car at the scene of the shooting.

Motsoane asked the court to be released on bail on account of his alleged poor health, and that he is incapable of walking without crutches because of a broken leg.


Pienaar’s widow Fransie said her late husband, as an attorney, believed in the justice system

“He believed anyone had the right to be tried in court. You must have your day. And justice must be done. That’s all we want,” she said.

AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit represents the Pienaar family, who approached the unit for support because of delays in finalising the case.


Pienaar was murdered on 19 September 2022 shortly after arriving at home in Limpopo. He was shot ten times in his driveway. He had been a lawyer for almost 40 years – and had been an MP for the former Conservative Party.

Motsoane was arrested the following month and charged with the crime. A second accused was also arrested but charges against him were later withdrawn.

The court will hand down it’s judgment in the bail application on Friday, 2 February while the trial has been set down for 22 to 26 July 2024 in the Polokwane High Court.

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