Five years not enough for my boy's life - mother

2015-08-06 15:25
Catherine Wannenberg (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Catherine Wannenberg (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - "Five years are not enough for the life she took," Catherine Wannenberg said on the steps of the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

This after Natasha Hansen was handed a five year sentence for the murder of Wannenberg’s son Gershwin Isaacs, 5, who was beaten to death 11 years ago. Hansen was the little boy’s stepmother.

A resigned looking Wannenberg struggled to hold back tears when she spoke of her son. "He was a good boy," she said. "Gershwin was the only child I had. He would have been 16 today."

Hansen was convicted of beating her stepson for two months after he moved in with his father in April 2004.

Wannenberg explained she sent the child to live with his father as she was unemployed and unable to provide for her son.

Child repeatedly kicked and beaten

He was rushed to Victoria Hospital on May 28 2004 and was transferred to Red Cross Children’s Hospital, where he died of a head injury.

The State argued the child had been repeatedly kicked and beaten with an unknown weapon over a two month period.

Hansen was convicted of murder and assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm in December last year.

Judge James Yekiso handed her a five year sentence after taking into consideration that Hansen had three minor children and no prior convictions.

Hansen’s husband and Gershwin’s father, Russel Hansen, told News24 he refused to believe that his wife would intentionally kill his child.

"But I am happy that the judge was lenient. I must just learn to cope with this because I have three other children to think about."

Sentence 'upsetting'

Wannenberg’s sister-in-law, Beredine Isaacs, was outraged by the sentence, describing her nephew as a "quiet boy who liked to play like any other child".

"It isn’t right. This is so upsetting. It sends out a message that any stepmother can kill a child and face a lenient sentence."

Wannenberg said she had hoped Hansen would be behind bars "for 15 or 20 years".

"But as long as she goes to jail, I am happy."

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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