EVERY time a Port Elizabeth family sees the man accused of murdering their mother and brother they are stung by the realisation that he is “not some outsider”, but was a loved member of their own family.
For Lenneth Morar, 50, it is particularly difficult as it is his son-in-law, Morne van der Linden, who stands in the dock and has on more than one occasion indicated he would like to plead guilty to the brutal murder of Catherine Stofberg, 79, and Kenneth Morar, 54, in August.
“We are still grieving the loss of our mother and brother. We were actually planning a big birthday party for my mother’s 80th birthday, which would have been a month after her death,” Lenneth said outside the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
“What makes this whole situation so difficult is that it was not some outsider who killed them. Morne was a loved member of our family and now he has basically confessed to committing this horrible deed.”
His brother, Gregory, 57, said he had nightmares about the case.
“My biggest fear is finding out that more people were involved in the murder. I don’t want this case to drag on any longer than it has to. I just want it to come to an end.”
Van der Linden, 29, is accused of bludgeoning his wife’s grandmother and uncle to death with a hammer in their Salsoneville home. Their bodies were found after he allegedly told another family member of the incident. He was arrested shortly thereafter.
After appearing in court yesterday, Van der Linden was sent to the Fort England psychiatric hospital for observation. His case has been postponed to March 25.
State prosecutor Advocate Jason Thysse told the court Van der Linden had indicated on more than one occasion he intended to plead guilty to the murders.
Standing in the dock before magistrate Chris Kruger, the well groomed accused held his hands behind his back and a tattoo spelling his own name ran down the inside of his left forearm.
During proceedings, members of the DA Women’s Network, in blue T-shirts, showed their support for the family of the victims.