Tibbetts’ uncle: Time to move on

2015-03-27 22:31
Lindray Khakhu. (File, Sapa)

Lindray Khakhu. (File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Luke Tibbetts' uncle Lewellyn Valentine on Friday said it was time for the family to pick up the pieces now that the 3-year-old's killer had been sentenced.

"I think it's time for us now to pick up the pieces and start living again as a family," he told reporters at the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, sitting in Palm Ridge.

"We put our trust in the justice system and justice has prevailed... [but] no sentence will bring Luke back."

Lindray Khakhu, 22, was earlier sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering 3-year-old Tibbetts. He was shot in the head in Steytler Street, Westbury, Johannesburg, on 2 August last year.

He was sitting on his mother's lap in a car as Khakhu shot at Keenan Mokwena, who was driving away in another car.

Mokwena was wounded. Tibbetts died in hospital six days later.

Mother hospitalised with deep depression

Valentine said he still had to let Tibbetts' mother, Candice, know about the sentence.

"Three months after his death, Candice was hospitalised with deep depression. She's been in and out since then. It's been taxing emotionally on us."

During proceedings Valentine frequently broke down and had to be comforted by friends.

"I was there when Luke was born, again when he died, and I represented him in the court today. It was too much."

Westbury resident, Shahiem Ismail, attended proceedings wearing a T-shirt with photos of Tibbetts printed on it and the words "RIP Luke Llewellyn Tibbetts".

"Luke Tibbetts has drawn my heart because I'm a close family friend. I was in hospital when he gave his last breath.

"As a community we have to work very hard so this doesn't happen again. But at the same time we'll never get Luke back," he said.


Khakhu was also found guilty of killing Alton Mooi in June 2013. His mother Salome said she was too emotional to speak to reporters.

Judge Matthew Klein sentenced Khakhu to two life sentences for the murders of Tibbetts and Mooi.
He was also found guilty of nine counts of unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, four counts of attempted murder, the dangerous use of a firearm, and pointing a firearm.

Prosecutor Deon van Wyk said Khakhu would probably be eligible for parole after serving 25 years of his prison sentence.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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