Man hugs son's killer

2012-09-11 09:01

Johannesburg - It was an emotional day in the North Gauteng High Court on Monday when a Gauteng father hugged the man who had shot dead his son.

Beeld reported that an emotional Johan van der Walt, 43, embraced Jan Mokoena after the judge suggested that he personally apologise to Mokoena who had testified about his sorrow at losing his son.

Van der Walt was found guilty of culpable homicide after he accidentally killed Gift Mokoena, 11, who was driving with his father late on the night of 2 June 2007.

Van der Walt was driving with his brother, a security guard on patrol and the brothers thought the other car was trying to hijack their bakkie.

He had fired shots to the front of the car and one of the bullets hit the boy in the chest killing him.

Van der Walt and his brother were acquitted on charges of attempted murder.

“I was found guilty of a thing that shouldn’t have happened. I accept what the court gives me.”

Speaking for the State, Mokoena earlier said that since the 2007 incident, “every time a white person does a bad thing”, his son's death comes back to haunt him.

  • rofras.rassie - 2012-09-11 09:10

    il never hug a killer

      peter.ndamase - 2012-09-11 10:03

      I feel you....especially when such acts of killing are done irresponsibly.

      margaretha.freyer - 2012-09-11 10:56

      What if the killer was your wife?what if it was a accident?what if your son accidently kills his mother??would you not hug him cause he is a killer??some people forgive easily!,it would take some time with me but holding on to hate makes you more bitter

      mihaip007 - 2012-09-11 11:30

      If I were there (God Forbid) I would hug the killer and keep hugging him until he stops breathing!

      Desilusionada - 2012-09-11 11:43

      Man's natural instinct not to forgive. The thirst for revenge/retribution, of justice being served is usually the emotion. Jan Mokoena did not have to do it and thus showed rare grace in this strife torn country of ours. I take my hat of for the man. I have, thankfully, not been in that position, and pray I will never be. A GREAT example to those (whom we read daily on these comments), who still thirst for revenge and wants to make the white man pay........

  • Harold Chisimba - 2012-09-11 09:13


      jowza1 - 2012-09-11 10:22

      i take my hat off for you mr.mokoena

  • jaco.duplessis2 - 2012-09-11 09:17

    Mokoena is a better man than me - I will not hug the idiot

  • ndlovucl - 2012-09-11 09:21

    It's unfortunate that a young life was lost because of some "baseless thoughts", and for his amily - the sorrow of losing their child is stuck with them for the rest of their lives, and that's a very terrible ordeal!

  • zwelethu.sabasaba - 2012-09-11 09:37

    I'm sorry for my previous comment (A black man is still a suspect even a 11years old boy) which i deleted. I believe that South Africa is succeeding to become a rainbow nation. Only a few can stand racism but non of them are you, the intelligent people who visit ;-)

      jowza1 - 2012-09-11 10:16

      there is hope for us all.

      zwelethu.sabasaba - 2012-09-11 10:33

      Thumbs up Jowza ;-)

  • Provence - 2012-09-11 09:42

    Hey, people of South Africa, read the story for what it's worth forget color. This man lost a son, it's sad very sad. You can't blame him for thinking the way he does about white people, it's pretty normal in a country like RSA. But he unfortunately will have to make a decision to be bitter and angry at white people all his life or see this as a time to reconcile. The same goes for white people who have been grieved and lost loved ones due to crime. These things are not easy to get over but it's possible to get through them without hate, revenge and bitterness.

      Msika - 2012-09-11 10:22

      A sobber comment at last.

  • rachael.vs.1 - 2012-09-11 09:43

    I just wish we'd get the true stories here, or someone would stick to the story. Earlier reports mention the child was 9, this one says 11. But nevermind, reconciliation will lead to healing.

  • siann.heidgen - 2012-09-11 09:48

    Im confused, first story is "A former security guard would trade places with a 9-year-old boy he shot dead five years ago, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has heard." and now here they saying he was 11 years old. Which one is it?

  • karabo.legodi.54 - 2012-09-11 09:51

    Forgiveness is self freeing! God bless them both.

  • michael.barns.1 - 2012-09-11 09:52

    Acquitted....? really, they should have gone to jail for life, our judicial system is pathetic.

      willa.prinsloo - 2012-09-11 10:02

      found guilty of culpable homocide which, ag never mind , beyond your grasp in any case

      michael.barns.1 - 2012-09-11 10:16


      willa.prinsloo - 2012-09-11 17:10

      your poor grasp of the content of the article, or the law, cannot be rectified by your ignorant remarks

      michael.barns.1 - 2012-09-12 07:30

      you can't fix stupid

  • MC - 2012-09-11 10:08

    Mr Makoena is an example of what forgiveness is. I am not sure if I an be so gracious but a lesson for me non the less.

  • werner.nel.712 - 2012-09-11 10:15

    I am sorry. But I will seek revenge if you hurt mu children. And if not he should have at least be hanged. No sorry shot with .22 in the back of the head. cheapest ammo...

  • dnxumalo2 - 2012-09-11 10:23

    I do not hug a pig like this one.

      helio.hatherson - 2012-09-11 10:36

      What about all the other "pigs" in this country? Who rape and kill defenceless elderly woman, who shoot people at point blank range for a cell-phone, who rape babies? At least this guy assumed responsibility and did not simply blame "the past" or a "legacy of aprtheid"!! Think statistics for a while.....

      dnxumalo2 - 2012-09-11 10:54

      helio.hatherson -I'm struggling to understand where you are coming from.look at the picture please.I see two people Johan van der Walt and Jan Mokoena (Beeld).where is this junk coming from ---defenceless elderly woman, who shoot people at point blank range for a cell-phone, who rape babies? At least this guy assumed responsibility and did not simply blame "the past" or a "legacy of aprtheid"!! Think statistics for a while.....I did not see this rubbish on my story.

      ngaka.sehlola - 2012-09-11 10:59 made my day,bro.

  • Msika - 2012-09-11 10:28

    So Cosatu was right after all, why is this idiot charged with culpable homicide instead of Murder?

      trevor.mashilo - 2012-09-11 10:40

      Its so sad.

      gerald.nchabeleng - 2012-09-11 11:15

      As much as i hate Cosatu, it is true what they said. Our judicial system favours white people, the irony is the judiciary is transformed, we have both black and also female judges and magistrates in numbers, and they, like their white counterparts, are slanted against black people. but for me, it isnt so important in itself that systems are biased against black people or that white people themselves are like is black people being horrible to other black people that is mystifying, and i believe a firm legacy of apartheid. Nervemind the Waterkloof four got off so lightly, or in Groblersdal a white farmer shot a black kid with a pump action gun for fishing in his lake, and managed to get off with a payment of 70K to the family, or that an indian boy got a more severe punishment for getting fully grown white people to kill their parents...etc. Nevermind that, it is the black counter lady when you ask for your statement at the municipality that will be rude to you after being so kind and accomodating to the white person before, or how cops, esp Cele's illustrious unit, keep on hitting black people and never white people, those cops are black. Apartheid continues today, in the hearts of black people, it is up to us to weed it out, and stop blaming whites for our own inefficiencies. I care more what a black person does than what a white person does. It is high time we find the beauty in us and stop the fascination with the less pigmented...

  • walter.lebza - 2012-09-11 10:40

    'I suspect he wants to rob me, let me shoot him, better safe than never' thats stupidity at its best.

  • briana.scott - 2012-09-11 10:45

    I can't believe this person is not being held responsible for killing this little boy - i can't believe this child's father hugs this man. The only time i would hug the killer of my child is to gut him. There is no consequences for anybody's actions in this country. Everything is a chain reaction of bad becoming worse.

      Leah - 2012-09-12 09:00

      Briana, he was acquitted of murder, but still charged with culpable homicide. I am sure the courts will punish him

  • amy.payne.5648 - 2012-09-11 10:49

    I would have punched the guy ,at least he felt guilty about his action ,a man and his kid ,what possible reasoning caused him to think it was fine to just shoot at them [he thought they were trying hijack him,please.]

  • Dalas Mantjolo - 2012-09-11 11:25

    dis is madness! Wht is it dt de fada nd his son did to mistaken dem as jackers? I should hev hugged de fool. Never in my lifetime.

      louiseroger.higham - 2012-09-11 17:17

      Get a life

  • Sima1989 - 2012-09-11 11:34

    its gd 2 forgive altho ul neva 4gt,

      ttaunyana - 2012-09-11 18:02

      Forgive se moer, die ou het 'n kind verloor en hy sal nie kan nog 'n ander ene maak, unless he get the muti from ZUmmmaahh. die bllody moerskon

  • vincent.vinsaint - 2012-09-11 16:49

    Culpable homicide se gaat...this is murder.

  • digger.dighead - 2012-09-11 23:34

    Don't know what to say.....but that takes a very good man to forgive like that.

  • Leah - 2012-09-12 08:56

    Any killing is a senseless tragedy. Mr Mokoena, you are a hero in my eyes. I salute you. All the other idiots who are still shouting vengeance; may you come to your senses soon.

  • kholofelo.maboho - 2012-09-12 14:05

    Mr Mokoena is a man of character. Forgiveness is a way to free oneself!

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