‘My son’s murder is eating me alive’

Heartbroken Gqeberha mom tells how 23-year-old died in her arms after being shot multiple times

Mary-Ann van Schalkwyk, the mother of John Hussain, 23, who was shot dead in Bethelsdorp, in the Bay’s northern areas, this week
NUMB WITH GRIEF: Mary-Ann van Schalkwyk, the mother of John Hussain, 23, who was shot dead in Bethelsdorp, in the Bay’s northern areas, this week

When a young Bethelsdorp man headed to a shop around the corner from his family home to buy ingredients for supper, he had barely stepped out the front door when gunshots rang out.

Moments later John Hussain, 23, died in his mother’s arms.

“I told him to fight, to open his eyes again as the ambulance was coming,” a heartbroken Mary-Ann van Schalkwyk said.

“But he didn’t open his eyes again, he was not moving at all.”

John Hussain is survived by a two-year-old son
YOUNG DAD: John Hussain is survived by a two-year-old son

Police spokesperson Captain Andre Beetge confirmed that Hussain succumbed to his wounds at the scene on Monday.

“At about 5.17pm in Bethelsdorp Extension 31, John departed from his residence, stating his intention to visit a local shop,” he said.

“Subsequently, the occupants of his home were alarmed by a series of gunshots.

“Upon exiting the premises to ascertain the source of the disturbance, they discovered John with multiple gunshot wounds.

“This incident is under investigation by Bethelsdorp police. They are probing a case of murder.”

Van Schalkwyk said she was still battling to process what had happened.

“He was my only son,” she said.

“I have two daughters and then John, he was my everything and I am still in shock.

“He was shot in the leg, chest and waist — it was not a nice picture to see.”

She said her son was soft-spoken and spent most of his time indoors.

“John was my best friend and he was so young, he had a bright future ahead of him.

“No parent should go through what I am going through right now.”

Van Schalkwyk said her son left behind a two-year-old boy.

“My God, he lived for this boy of his,” she said.

“Everything he did was for [his child].

“Now his child will grow up without a father and that makes me even more sad.”

She said her son had a passion for cooking and had been excited to make dinner on Monday.

“He liked this noodle, cheese and Vienna dish and was supposed to make that for us, he loved cooking,” she said.

“If I had decided to cook or if he didn’t go to the shop he would have been alive.

“It’s eating me alive, I can’t sleep, eat or drink, I am completely numb.

“The police should do their job, and catch the killers. I want someone in cuffs before his 24th birthday in August.

“He is now just another statistic.”

Beetge said the investigation was continuing.

A stone’s throw from where Hussain was killed, Kathlene “Winnie” Michaels, 70, was found dead in her bedroom just over a week ago.

She was stabbed to death.

Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said at the time that a neighbour had become suspicious because she had last seen Michaels at 10am on the Saturday.

“[The next day], Mrs Michaels’ son came to visit but left because the place was locked,” Naidu said.

“At about 6pm, the neighbour saw a window wide open and sent her son to investigate.

“Mrs Michaels was found dead in the bedroom with multiple stab wounds.

“At this stage, only her cellphone appears to be missing.”



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