Anguish as murderer ‘forgives’ accusers


FACE TO FACE: Themba Hemp, 48, speaks to Bernaford van der Berg and Ronel Clark, in court.  Picture: EUGENE COETZEE
FACE TO FACE: Themba Hemp, 48, speaks to Bernaford van der Berg and Ronel Clark, in court. Picture: EUGENE COETZEE

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

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3 thoughts on “Anguish as murderer ‘forgives’ accusers

  • March 11, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    If Themba Hemp was hanged he would n’t be able to take another innocent person’s life!

  • March 11, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    I would like to laid a complaint about what i’ve experienced in KIRKWOOD Prison today when we visited 1 of our Family member. When we were at the Guard house inorder to gain access to the unsentenced visiting area, we were told that the Female warders who worked at that section are not available, that was from 12h00 afternoon up until 13h45. I would love the person who will receive this complaint to forward it further so that this will be monitored and solved because this is unfair for a person who drove 120km to arrive at this PRISON

  • March 11, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    What disgusting arrogance! And wanting to preach forgiveness, at that- it leads me to believe that he was deliberately taunting and antagonising the family.


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