‘I’ll never forgive Noxolo’s killer’

2018-10-25 06:00
Phakamile Xakeka and Nomthandazo Klaas speak out after the sentencing of Bongile Joni, their daughter’s killer.PHOTO: mzwanele mkalipi

Phakamile Xakeka and Nomthandazo Klaas speak out after the sentencing of Bongile Joni, their daughter’s killer.PHOTO: mzwanele mkalipi

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The parents of slain Noxolo Klaas are still battling to come to terms with the brutal murder of their daughter, whose killer was recently jailed for eight years.

The Klaas family is struggling to make ends meet, as Noxolo was the sole breadwinner of the household. Her 49-year-old father, Phakamile Xakeka, is able to find only piecemeal work.

On Tuesday 23 October, the family granted City Vision an exclusive interview at their shack in Ezinkomeni informal settlement, not far from where Klaas, a mother of one, was murdered in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

The family dismissed the version of Bongile Joni (27), who was sentenced to an effective 12 years’ imprisonment, four of them suspended for five years, in the Strand Magistrate’s Court on Thursday 11 October (“Killer gets 12 years”, City Vision, 18 October).

The victim’s mother, Nomthandazo Klaas, dismissed a statement by Joni that he pushed her daughter around in a wheelchair while waiting for medical attention at the hospital following the incident at a local shebeen, as he claimed in a statement to the court.

“We were told my daughter was being pushed by a woman, and not him,” the bereaved mother said. “He said all these things so that the court would be lenient on him, as he knew no-one was there other than him.”

The family says they are not happy with the eight-year sentence handed down to Joni after Magistrate Franselien Mouton found him remorseful of his deed.

“I will never get over this. As the family we still have more questions than answers on my child’s murder,” Klaas said.

“But, in retrospect, it’s better that he has finally been sentenced, rather than having him roam the streets while my child died a long time ago. We never saw any remorse coming from Joni throughout this whole ordeal.”

Klaas believes he didn’t care about the pain inflicted on Noxolo’s family by her death and maintains her daughter’s death is regarded the same as that of a dog.

“My child had long been complaining about Joni’s behaviour, and spoke about how he would touch her backside and make [snide] remarks,” she said.

“He once even smacked her and she arrived at home complaining about the incident.

“She told us he would ask why she acted like a man when she was a woman. My daughter chose the life she lived and we had no problem with that.

“Some people still have a problem with lesbians, while others say they are possessed by demons. As her parents we never had a problem with her.”

Phakamile also believes Joni and his family did not empathise with his family’s loss, claiming they did not try to contact or sympathise with them after Klaas’ murder and throughout the trial.

“When we heard about this horrific incident, we were working on the farm,” he said. “We had to return and deal with this pain.”

The family struggles to get through the day, fighting off emotions and battling to survive, Nomthandazo added.

“As we struggle daily, we always think that if our daughter was alive, we would not be suffering this much. This has really killed our family,” she said.

“We will never be well until we also rest; only death can relieve us from this pain. And I will never forgive the murderer of my child.”


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