Martin family still seeking closure after mother's suspicious death

2017-12-15 06:16


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Piet Retief – The family of a woman, who was the only crucial witness in a murder investigation, is still seeking closure more than a year after her death.

Marlene Martin, 60, died in the streets of Piet Retief in Mpumalanga on July 8, 2016. A vehicle knocked her over while she was walking home from work.

"I never felt so depressed in my life. We were very close as a family and [we are] still not over what happened," her daughter Hanlie told News24.

The daughter said the family wanted justice.

"The waiting is killing us as a family...we want justice to be done and those responsible should be arrested," she added.

A police source, who spoke to News24 on condition of anonymity on Thursday morning, confirmed that a murder case had been opened in 2016 in connection with Martin’s death.

"The vehicle ran her over and then it reversed on her again.

"It did not look like an accident. Immediately, when she gave her statement and [participated in] the identification parade, she identified a local businessman as a suspect in the murder case," the source said.

At the time of her death, Martin had been assisting police with information that could lead to an arrest in the investigation into the 2014 murder of Alfred Ngwenya, who had been shot dead.

Read: Five years for justice – and a bullet to the head ends it all

Ngwenya was meant to testify against two men he accused of assaulting and shooting him in a racially motivated attack in 2009, Sunday newspaper City Press previously reported.

Ngwenya, who was 44 years old at the time, was killed 10 days before taking to the witness stand.

According to the newspaper, eyewitnesses saw two bakkies speeding off after he was shot in the back of the head.

"We can't arrest anyone in the Ngwenya case if our only witness was killed and now there is no breakthrough in this case. The case is now with the [Directorate of Public Prosecution] and we are awaiting further instructions." 

Losing hope

Meanwhile, the family has been losing hope.

Hanlie said the family had gone from pillar to post trying to assist the police, but added that the police were not doing enough to assist them.

She described the painful emotions of losing a mother, supporter, pillar of strength and comforter.

"I remember the person she was. You could rely on her with everything. She really cared a lot about us and she held the family together. If we could just go to court, then that would be great. We really just need closure as a family," she said. 

Martin is survived by her husband, three children and one grandchild. 

Regional spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority Monica Nyuswa said Martin’s death was still under investigation.

"At this stage the suspects are unknown. Certain instructions were given to the investigating officer in an attempt to identify possible suspects. Our prosecutor is monitoring the investigation," Nyuswa said. 

Read more on:    mbombela  |  crime

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