Schauderville man jailed for stabbing child's mother to death

Romano Blaauw, 30, after pleading in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Monday
Romano Blaauw, 30, after pleading in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Monday
Image: Devon Koen

A Schauderville man accused of stabbing his former girlfriend and mother of his two-year-old daughter to death pleaded guilty to a charge of murder and was sentenced to 20 years behind bars in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Monday.

Romano Blaauw, 30, tendered the plea agreement after consultations with his legal representative, advocate Johan van der Spuy, state prosecutor advocate Garth Baartman and the family of the deceased.

Blaauw admitted stabbing Millisem van Dyk at least four times at her sister's house in Gelvandale, on August 6 2018 after he accused her of neglecting their daughter and taking drugs.

In his plea, Blaauw said that he had known Van Dyk for at least 15 years prior to the August 2018 incident.

He said he had met her through his cousin and she had been dating his friend.

After Van Dyk and Blaauw's friend split up, he began a relationship with her, which did not last long.

After he returned to Port Elizabeth from Johannesburg in 2016, they became romantically involved again and she soon fell pregnant.

Blaauw admitted he had been addicted to tik and that Van Dyk was aware of this.

After Van Dyk gave birth, Blaauw claimed he became concerned about her behaviour and suspected she was taking drugs.

"It was about six months after the birth of our daughter I became very worried that [Van Dyk] was indeed involved with drugs again.

"[Van Dyk] was starting to neglect our child ... she would sometimes disappear for up to two weeks at a time without explanation," Blaauw said.

On the day Blaauw stabbed Van Dyk he had their daughter with him when he went to confront her at her sister's house.

Blaauw claimed the sole purpose for the visit was for the daughter to visit her mother.

Upon his arrival, a friend took the child from Blaauw while he confronted Van Dyk.

According to Blaauw, when he confronted Van Dyk about her alleged drug addiction she became aggressive and swore at him.

"[Van Dyk] kept on grabbing at me and I kept on holding her hands away from me," Blaauw said.

"At that stage I was very angry ... I took out my knife and stabbed her because I was angry at her.

"I stabbed at her three or four times. I then pushed her away from me and turned to go outside the house."

At that stage, Blaauw claimed that Van Dyk hit him over the head with a cup.

"I always had a very short temper and this last blow on the back of my head was the final straw.

"I took a step towards [Van Dyk] and stabbed her hard in the upper chest, hitting her in the middle of her chest.

"I acted out of anger and did not act in reasonable self-defence," Blaauw said.

Blaauw was arrested the following day when he learnt that Van Dyk had died.

Five other charges including four of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm were withdrawn by the state in accordance with the plea agreement reached.

Judge Mandela Makaula convicted Blaauw on the charge of murder and sentenced him to a term of 20 years in prison.