Our child saw everything - wife of slain metro cop

2016-02-18 13:46
Ben Koopman. (Supplied, City of Cape Town)

Ben Koopman. (Supplied, City of Cape Town)

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Cape Town - Her husband died in the uniform he dreamed of wearing all his life, Katriena Koopman said on Thursday.

"Ben always wanted to work as an officer of the law," the mother of four said. "But I never thought he would die in such a vicious way, right outside his own door."

Metro Police officer Ben Koopman, 53, was gunned down on Monday after having lunch at his home.

But, Katriena said, she needed to forgive the attackers, because she knew her husband would have done so too in his last moments.

Two men are in police custody in connection with the shooting. They were arrested on Wednesday in Kleinvlei, a short distance from the Koopmans' Avon Street home in Eerste River.

Katriena shrugged her shoulders when told of the arrest.

"I still don’t have my husband. My children still don’t have their father."

Her 18-year-old son had just returned home from school when her husband popped in during his lunch break, she said.

"[The boy] was outside cleaning the front of the yard when Ben went to get something from the vehicle. He saw the two men walk past. He greeted them, and they greeted back."

After he turned his back, the men attacked him from behind.

"Our child saw everything. The men pushed the gun in [my husband's] side and fired. Ben stumbled and fell and those two… Hulle het hom geskop toe hy daar lê [they kicked him while he lay there]."

Their son started shouting for help, drawing neighbours out of their homes to see what the commotion was about.

"He screamed 'Please help my daddy'," she said, close to tears.

"Neighbours came to assist. One woman started praying in the street. They asked him if he's okay and he said he's alright. But he wasn't. He died there."

'I have forgiven them'

His service pistol and radio were stolen.

Katriena and Ben were married 31 years ago and have four children.

"I can't believe he isn't here with me anymore. When I got home after getting the call, I wanted to run to him. I wanted to touch him, but no one would let me. 

"When I was eventually allowed onto the scene, I looked into his face. He was still my Ben. He looked so peaceful. How could someone have done that to him?"

Koopman will be buried on Saturday.

"I am having difficulty believing it, but I will learn to accept what has happened," she said.

"I am glad to hear that there has been an arrest. Not because I want vengeance, but because they shouldn't be allowed to do that to anyone else.

"I have forgiven them. And I am sure that as he lay in front of his house, bleeding to death, Ben forgave them too."

Read more on:    police  |  cape town  |  crime

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