“He no longer feels like my father,” a 14-year-old girl said yesterday when asked to describe how she felt about the man accused of bludgeoning her mother to death.
The petite teenager avoided any eye contact with her dad as she took the stand in the Port Elizabeth High Court.
The 40-year-old accused and former Kouga Municipality road works department employee cupped his face in his hands.
The girl said she phoned the police a few weeks before her mother’s murder when she witnessed her father assaulting her.
On June 5 last year, the 36-yearold woman’s body was found outside the Maak-n-Las Sports Complex in Humansdorp. She had been beaten to death with a rock.
The couple’s names have been withheld to protect the identities of their children.
The girl said she woke up in the early hours of May 16 last year to hear her parents fighting in the kitchen of their Humansdorp home.
She called her 17-year-old brother to try and intervene. He then told her to call the police.
“I watched through my bedroom curtains and saw the police van approach the house. I went into the kitchen thinking they were going to come into the house.”
But, she said, the van drove right past the house.
“My father had a knife to my mother’s throat, so [my brother] tried to push him away and that’s when my dad stabbed him in the chest.” He sustained a shallow cut. She said when the fight eventually died down, she went back to bed but could not sleep. The next morning she had to go to school.
They all went to the police station the next day and her mother proceeded to obtain a protection order through the courts.
Told by defence advocate Johan van der Spuy that there were vast material differences in her testimony compared with her brother’s, the girl said the night of the alleged assault was chaotic.
“A lot was happening and I was hysterical,” she said.
Asked by state advocate Jason Thysse how she was feeling now, the girl quietly responded: “I am so heartbroken.”
She said she continued to receive counselling.
Her father has pleaded not guilty to charges including the contravention of the protection order, assault and murder.