Mom of murder victim ‘robbed’

2011-11-23 14:32

The mother of Welkom murder victim Michael van Eck, told the Virginia Circuit Court today that her children and grandchildren had been stolen from her.

“They have changed in who they are and how they feel,” Henriëtte van Eck told Free State Circuit Court Judge Albert Kruger.

Van Eck is a State witness, testifying in aggravation of circumstances in the sentencing of Charné van Heerden.

Kruger has found Van Heerden (20) guilty of murdering Van Eck, robbing him and dismembering his body in the Welkom cemetery in April.

She was co-accused with Maartens van der Merwe (24), but their trials were separated.

He will appear in court again in February after psychological evaluation.

Henriëtte van Eck told the court her whole family, including her three daughters and their families, were suffering because of the death of her son.

“They are hungry for fun, to know everything would be right.”

She read to the court letters written by two of her daughters after their brother’s murder.

Van Eck said her grandchildren had also been affected and needed special attention.

Describing her own feelings, she said the news of the murder had come as a “hammer blow” and that it had destroyed her life and relationships.

“Everything is contaminated.”

She said family gatherings had become wearisome.

Van Eck said many questions about her son’s murder were unanswered.

He had worked as an electrician at a local mine and was about to qualify as an electrical-engineer, ready to start his life, and would not have been interested in Van Heerden.

“This whole affair [meeting Van Heerden] was not in line with his nature.”

Van Eck urged the court to remove Van Heerden from society for life, never to see the outside of a prison again.

The State is expected to call one more witness to testify in aggravation of sentence.

Earlier, State prosecutor Johan de Nysschen said the State intended to ask that Van Heerden be declared a dangerous criminal.

This meant she would not qualify for parole through normal correctional services procedures.

The matter was postponed until Friday.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.