A convicted killer, Aljar Swartz who is expected to be sentenced today for beheading a Ravensmead teenager in October 2013, has been delivered from the “demons” making him to kill at special prayers held in prison.
At Thursday’s sentencing proceedings, Methodist Reverend Cecil Begbie told the Western Cape High Court that Swartz was possessed by demons but has been delivered during a prayer gathering at Pollsmoor Prison where Swarts and other inmates were prayed for.
Explaining how the event went, Reverend Begbie said:
“There was a day when I engaged in special prayers for him, where I invited the congregation in Rondevlei to stand and to raise their hands towards Pollsmoor Prison and we all then united in prayer, not only for Aljar, but for all inmates of Pollsmoor Prison, including the staff as well.”
The reverend went on to argue in mitigation of sentence, that he had met Swartz about five times and it was clear that he was demon-possessed.
Swartz was declared guilty by Judge Elize Steyn for premeditated murder of 15-year-old Lee Adams as well as three counts of incitement to commit murder.
Prior to the testimony given by Reverend Begbie the defence counsel had claimed the accused was under satanic influence when he committed the murder three years ago.
Swartz admitted to beheading the teenager in 2013. He said he targeted the 15-year-old Adams so he could sell the teen’s head to a sangoma for R5000.
A security guard found the 15-year-old Adams body at an abandoned school, while the head was later found in a shallow grave buried in the accused’s garden but Reverend Begbie said he (Swartz) had been haunted by demons in the past.
Begbie, who had been a minister for almost 50 years, said as Pollsmoor Prison turned down his application to perform an exorcism, he was left with no other option but to call upon congregations and the international community to pray for Swartz.
A radical change had then taken place in Swartz, he said as he gave details of Swarts’ transformation.
“There was a moment about three weeks ago when he felt as though he was standing under a waterfall and pure clean water flowed through his whole body and after that experience. He felt he was totally set free of all demons,” said Begbie.
“That means the almighty God, who is not restricted to walls of prisons or prison bars, actually administered to him supernaturally as a result of all prayers. I could also then sense that, yes, there was a radical change in Aljar.”
Swartz was able to sleep properly for the first time in years. He experienced tremendous peace of heart and mind, Begbie added.
A spiritual counselor at the prison was also reported to have led Swarts to Christ and a week after that, he told the counselor that he would want to apologize to the Adams’ family, his school and the court.
Listening to all that was said, Judge Elize Steyn told Swartz’s lawyer, Sheriff Mohamed, that she would not take to his lead evidence on “magic, witchcraft and all other things”.
“How many times in South African law has the court allowed ‘the devil made me do it?’ The court has never accepted it.” Steyn asked as she went on saying she would make a note that it was Begbie’s view that Swartz was no longer possessed by demons.