‘One life term for every victim,’ Maria Isaacs’ family calls for justice in alleged Boland serial killer trial

Maria Isaacs was found buried in a shallow grave in July 2018 on Aubon Rue Farm. Picture: Supplied

Maria Isaacs was found buried in a shallow grave in July 2018 on Aubon Rue Farm. Picture: Supplied

Published Feb 13, 2024


The family of one of the women murdered at the hands of the alleged Boland serial killer has called for the court to sentence him to at least three life terms for the murder.

Johan Williams faces 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.

His trial has concluded in the Western Cape High Court and the defence counsel and State are currently under way with their heads of arguments.

Speaking to IOL, the brother of slain Maria Isaacs, 34, said they are demanding justice for all families.

The alleged Boland serial killer, Johan Williams. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers

Fortuin Isaacs, 43, came from Malmesbury to witness Williams take the stand, however, he did a massive U-turn and initiated his right to remain silent.

Maria lived on a farm with her mother between Malmesbury and Riebeeck-Kasteel.

Her family has not been able to attend court as regularly as they wished due to distance.

Malmesbury is 66.9km from the court.

Isaacs told IOL since the death of his sister, their family has not had any closure.

“I am the one who tries my best to attend court. My mother was here when she had to testify. Because there has been no closure, everything remains extremely raw and we are all hurting inside,” he said.

Maria went to Wellington on June 16, 2018. She met up with her ‘friend’ — Williams — after he had promised her a job.

She and her cousin, Magdalene Isaacs, met Williams at the Wellington police station where she left with him.

During her testimony, Magdalene told the court her cousin had resigned from a job they both worked at in 2017 and was excited about this work opportunity that Williams organised in Touwsriver.

The court heard how Maria was excited to contribute to the household where her mother at the time was the only breadwinner.

In her testimony, Magdalene told the court she and her cousin were chatting while waiting for Williams to arrive. It was at this time that Maria told her the new job was an admin post which her ‘friend’ managed to get her.

She was introduced to Williams as the friend.

Magdalene told the court she jokingly told Williams that if anything happened to Maria, he would have to deal with her. His response to this was that he would drive over her with his big truck.

The pair left and headed to the local Spar where Williams said they needed to purchase food.

It was the last time Maria was seen.

Suspicion grew after family members struggled to get hold of Maria, as she was either never there and Williams answered or calls went unanswered.

This is despite receiving text messages from Maria asking for money from family members.

Maria’s body was found in July 2018 at Aubon Rue Farm, buried in a shallow grave. She had been raped and strangled.

Her body was found on the same day as Chantell Matthysen, another victim.

Maria’s brother said she and their mother were like best friends.

“My mother is being extremely strong. Her appearance, you would think nothing is wrong, but we know there has been no closure. Maybe once this case concludes and sentencing is done, we could find closure,” he said.

“My mother and Maria lived together. She was always there with my mother. My mother works away during the week, but on weekends when she has to go home there is no one. They were best friends.”

Maria had no children and was unmarried at the time of her death.

Isaacs also called out Williams’ cat-and-mouse games during the trial.

“At every court appearance, there is some sort of surprise or actions from his side. He is playing cat-and-mouse games with us. Many times we’re the ones left feeling like the victims. He now decided he does not want to testify, he did the same thing last week and then decided against it. He continues with delaying tactics,” Isaacs said.

The family just wanted justice to be served.

“No matter what sentence he receives by the court, it will not bring back our loved ones.

“I feel he should get one life term for every victim he murdered. Only then we will try and get some peace,” Isaacs said.

[email protected]