Burry Stander's mom hasn't forgiven son's killer

2015-07-02 12:54
Njabulo Nyawose. (Netwerk24)

Njabulo Nyawose. (Netwerk24)

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Durban - The past three years have been difficult for the family of late South African Olympic cyclist Burry Stander.

And because minibus taxi driver Njabulo Nyawose never showed any remorse for causing the death of her son, she cannot find it in her heart to forgive him, Burry's mother Mandie Stander told News24 on Thursday.

She said the family was still struggling to come to terms with the cyclist’s death.

On Wednesday, Mandie sat in the Port Shepstone Magistrate’s Court - as she had done at all the hearings - and listened to Magistrate Charmaine Barnard sentence Nyawose to three years in jail for causing his death. 

Nyawose was sentenced to six years in jail for culpable homicide, with three years suspended on condition that he was not convicted of culpable homicide in the period. He was also found guilty of failing to obey a traffic sign, for which Barnard imposed a fine of R5 000 or three months in jail.

She found that Stander had not been negligent in his actions and that South Africa was poorer without the cyclist. She also cancelled Nyawose’s licence.

'Nothing will bring Burry back'

The cyclist, 25, was riding his bike along Marine Drive towards Port Shepstone from Shelly Beach when he was knocked down in January 2013. Nyawose had been travelling south on Marine Drive when the taxi he was driving moved into the northbound lane and turned right into Scott Street.

The case was adjourned for the court to hear Nyawose’s application for leave of appeal.

Mandie Stander said it was difficult to hear what really happened to her son.

“I am glad that he was finally sentenced because it is has closed that door for us. We don’t have to see Nyawose ever again.”

She said the family faced many obstacles during the trial.

“Sadly nothing will bring Burry back. We are just relieved it’s over.”

She said she will never accept that her son was gone.

‘Won’t forgive’

“To tell you the truth, I have not forgiven Nyawose and I don’t think I will ever forgive him because I do not know him and during the trial he showed no remorse for what he did. The entire time he just wanted to save his own butt,” said Stander.

“He contradicted the statements of another witness and the judge said during the trial that he lied in his statements.”

Stander said Nyawose has never approached the family to ask for forgiveness.

“It was only recently when the judge was about to hand down the sentence that he, through his lawyer, said he was sorry. He has never come to me or any other family member to apologise.”

Stander said her family remained a close unit during the trial.

“We still miss him very much. There is not a day that passes that I don’t miss him. He was such a kind, gentle, compassionate human being who was always considerate of his fellow human beings.

“You know, I wouldn’t have minded if Burry was a street sweeper today, if only I could have him back. There is a huge gap in the family without him.”

Mandie ‘sad’ over appeal

She said Burry’s widow, Cherise, moved to Cape Town two years ago. “We have not had contact in a long time. I understand that she has moved on, she is young and we all cope with situations differently,” said Stander.

When asked about how she felt about Nyawose’s appeal she said, “I didn’t even know that he was appealing his sentence, I left the court immediately after the sentence was handed down. It saddens me that he wants to appeal the case because it just shows that he feels he has done nothing wrong."

News24 contacted Cherise Stander but she refused to comment.

The National Prosecuting Authority’s Natasha Ramkissoon-Kara welcomed the sentence.

She said Nyawose was currently out on R1 000 bail pending his application for leave to appeal his sentence and judgment. “A date has not been set for that hearing,” said Ramkissoon-Kara.

Read more on:    burry stander  |  durban

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