EMOTIONS ran high in the Port Elizabeth High Court yesterday when a gardener came face to face with the son and daughter of the woman he bludgeoned to death and said he was “sorry” for what had happened to her and that he forgave them for accusing him.
Themba Hemp, 48, who murdered 70-year-old Theescombe resident Hester van der Berg after he was let out of prison early, was then sentenced to life in prison by Judge Irma Schoeman.
“No innocent man would have approached us like he did. We thought he was going to ask our forgiveness, but instead he just said he forgives us for accusing him and hopes that we can now move on,” Van der Berg’s son, Bernaford, 42, said later.
“He [Hemp] said he was sorry and that he never meant for any of this to happen but not once did he admit to doing any of it.” Bernaford said the family had decided to forgive Hemp so they could move on with their lives.
During sentencing, Schoeman rebuked the Correctional Services Department for releasing Hemp early. – Lee-Anne Butler
For the full story read The Herald, or get the complete newspaper, including comics, classifieds, crosswords and back editions in our e-Edition