Pregnant mom of three's husband shot dead in front of her

By Jana Smit
04 October 2016

Instead of celebrating the birth of her first son, Mariandra is faced with the unthinkable task of burying her husband.

It should have been a joyous time for Mariandra Heunis.

But instead of celebrating the birth of her first son, the mom of three is faced with the unthinkable task of burying her husband.

The heavily pregnant wife of Johann Heunis, who was shot dead on their smallholding the past weekend, cries all the time, but she's "learning to find peace between the tears".

This is what long-term friend and colleague, Dennis Lloyd, told YOU.

Mariandra and Johann have three daughters and she’s pregnant with their first boy.

Dennis says Mariandra told him that she woke up at about 2.30 am on Saturday morning on their smallholding northeast of Pretoria because she heard something that sounded like a wooden floor creaking. When she opened her eyes, two men were standing at the foot of their double bed.

“The men said they wanted money,” Dennis says, describing that fateful night. Before Mariandra and Johann could respond one of the robbers shot Johann.

“One of the couple’s daughters came running into the bedroom, said she had money and showed them her piggy bank,” Dennis says.

“The next moment one of the robbers shot at the little girl. Miraculously she wasn’t hit and ran out of the room.”

Then the men fled, but Johann was already dead.

“That’s when she realised she had to think of the children. They fled outside into the dark," Dennis says.

The robbers had stolen the couple’s cellphones so Mariandra went to a nearby filling station to make a call. Once there, she realised that she couldn’t remember anyone’s telephone number – except for that of an old friend, who called the police.

Dennis says a group of friends are helping with everything they can. One is organising the funeral and another is taking care of the children’s needs.

Johann’s life was celebrated on Monday afternoon with a picnic beside a river in the vicinity. “Mariandra feels she didn’t say goodbye to Johann properly. She has an urgent need to say goodbye.

“Tonight I’m going to do finger painting with the children. We’re also going to spray their father’s aftershave lotion on their cushions, to help them,” Dennis says.

According to Dennis the worst is that Mariandra can no longer feel Johann's presence.

“When her father died she felt him near her all the time.”

When she told Dennis she wasn’t experiencing the same sensation with Johann, Dennis put his hands on her pregnant belly and said, “Feel him.”

Johann had been excited about the baby. “When they fell pregnant Mariandra was concerned that they might not be able to afford another child, but Johann assured her God would provide.”

Arrangements for the baby’s birth have already been made with the Universitas Hospital. Because Johann was the breadwinner, mourners will be asked to send gift vouchers for groceries to the family instead of flowers.

Johann was a self-employed cabinet maker. Dennis says when the couple previously lost everything Mariandra would say at least she still had her soulmate.

More local news:

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‘He kissed me on the cheek – while another man pressed a gun into my back and shot me’

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