UPDATE: ‘Shoelace killer’ stands accused of murdering four relatives in Mtwalume

Wesley Julyan from Mtwalume made his first appearance in the Hibberdene Court on Monday this week. 2101SN

A convicted murderer who had blood on his hands back in 2003 has been arrested and charged with arson and four counts of murder.

Wesley Julyan (32) was sentenced to 13 years in jail in 2004 for strangling a man to death with a shoelace and stealing his car.

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Julyan will be spending his 33rd birthday (this Saturday, February 10), behind bars after being arrested in Plettenburg Bay, Western Cape last Wednesday.

He has been charged with the murder of four relatives – his brother Jeffrey Julyan (34), Jeffrey’s son Ethan Julyan (9), Jeffrey’s step-daughter Kayla McKenna (16) and Peter McKenna (73), Jeffrey’s father-in-law.

The murder victims.

Their bodies were discovered in a blazing house in Mtwalume, near Hibberdene, on December 19.

Julyan appeared tired and drowsy during his first court appearance before Magistrate Giel van Aarde in the Hibberdene Court on Monday this week, where he applied for Legal Aid.

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While setting a date for a bail application, Magistrate van Aarde informed the Legal Aid attorney that he had handled a bail application for Julyan and a co-accused in the Scottburgh Magistrate’s Court many years ago.

When asked if he remembered that occasion, Julyan did not reply.

The case was postponed to next Tuesday, February 13 for a bail application.

He remains in police custody.

Shoelace murder

Wesley Julyan and a co-accused were convicted in 2004 of murdering 51-year-old Amanzimtoti man Kenneth Gary van Aardt the previous year. Mr van Aardt was strangled with a shoelace and his body buried in a shallow grave in a bushy area near Julyan’s home in Mtwalume.

Julyan’s co-accused pleaded guilty under a plea bargain deal and was sentenced to 15 years in jail.

Julyan, who was 18 years old at the time, pleaded not guilty to murdering Van Aardt and to stealing his vehicle.

He was sentenced to an effective 13 years’ imprisonment.

In 2006 the State won an appeal and his sentence was increased to 20 years.

Convicted murder Wesley Julyan now faces four charges or murder and one of arson.


He was released on parole in 2009 after serving five years in prison.

His co-accused was released on parole in 2010 after serving six years. His parole ends this month.

* Parole is not the end of a sentence, but an offender serves the remainder of his or her sentence under supervision within the community.


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Sugan Naidoo

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