Angelo “Dakota” Hendricks

STILL HURTING: Benita Bokbaard, 52, says she will always miss her son, Angelo Hendricks
STILL HURTING: Benita Bokbaard, 52, says she will always miss her son, Angelo Hendricks


HELENVALE mother Benita Bokbaard, 52, says her son, Angelo Hendricks, 27, was a member of the Upstand Dogs gang and was trying to make a better life for himself when he was shot at point-blank range by one of his best friends.

“The person who killed him was one of his best friends and I knew him well. Angelo had been released from jail two weeks before he was killed. He was trying to change and start a new life,” she said.

Last year Jermaine Baadjies, 32, was found guilty of murder, attempted murder and the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition in relation to Hendricks’s murder. He was sentenced to life for the murder, 12 years for attempted murder, 15 years for the unlawful possession of a firearm and 10 years for the unlawful possession of ammunition.

Hendricks, known as Dakota, had been listening to Pastor Brandon Olivier preaching in Kobus Road when he was killed.

Bokbaard said she still did not know the motive behind her son’s murder, but would never forget the day it happened.

“Angelo had been out of jail for two weeks after a case was withdrawn against him. I was at home and had a visitor at the time when someone came to tell me what had happened. I did not hear any shots so I did not want to believe it, but when I ran up to the scene I saw a lot of people and the police were there already.”

Bokbaard said she saw Angelo lying in a pool of blood on the ground outside the shopping centre in Kobus Road. “I saw one bullet hole between his eyes. That was all I saw but there was so much blood and it was running down the street. It was only later that my husband told me that when they turned him over he had holes all over his body. He had been shot 15 times.”

Bokbaard said she was rushed home and a doctor arrived and sedated her.

“The worst part is that his girlfriend was four months pregnant when he was killed. His daughter, Angeleigh, is now four. I often tell her about her father.”

Bokbaard has never shied away from the fact that Angelo had been an active gang member. “It was not nice for me to know he was involved. I would often confront him about what people were saying about him, but he would tell me it was not true. Now I know he was only trying to protect me. But I know he was involved and that was the reason why he moved around so often.”

She said she was only 18 when he was born and despite his involvement in gangsterism she loved him and missed him.

“He will always be my child. The pain never goes away, but I know for the parents of innocent children who are killed it must be 10 times worse. I am still trying to make peace with his death because it is God’s plan, but it is hard. The person responsible is in jail, but nothing will bring him back.”

She said Baadjies was arrested on the same day as Angelo’s funeral, but was released in 2010 on R500 bail.

“My son was not an angel, but we are fighting a losing battle here. What we need is the army to come in and clean up Helenvale. That is the only way. We hear gunshots on a daily basis and every day you must pray that it is not a family member.

“I never want to be called to go look at a family member lying on the ground. Never again.”

She said concerned community members held meetings regarding gang violence but she did not attend because information was reported to gang members.

Bokbaard also said that despite the violence she did not agree with the closure of schools in the area.
“The children are safer in the classrooms than playing in the streets.”

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