Suspect caught a year after Centurion hit-and-run accident

2018-07-04 18:00
Ruan Viljoen and mom Anita Greyvenstein. (Supplied)

Ruan Viljoen and mom Anita Greyvenstein. (Supplied)

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The mother of Ruan Viljoen has relentlessly sought justice since her son was killed a year ago. Now, at last, police have arrested a suspect who’s due to appear in court on 2 August.

Eighteen-year-old Ruan died on 19 March last year in a hit-and-run incident next to the N14 highway in Centurion, Gauteng. His body was found on the traffic island of the highway near Jean Avenue.

He’d visited friends the previous evening. It’s believed on the way home he’d lost control of his car and then locked and left it at the side of the road to make his way to a nearby petrol station to call his parents. Apparently, that’s when he was hit. The autopsy showed almost every bone in his body had been broken by the impact.

His mother, Anita Greyvenstein, says it’s believed Ruan was hit by a silver Volkswagen Golf because they’d found parts of that model car near his body.

'Speeding off like a heartless animal'

"The person hadn’t even stopped. They’d sped off like a heartless animal, leaving my child by the side of the road," she told YOU.

Police spokesperson Captain Agnes Huma confirmed a suspect will appear in the Pretoria magistrate’s court on 2 August on a culpable homicide charge.

For the past year Anita and her husband, Sergei Greyvenstein, refused to give up. Sergei is Ruan’s stepdad and raised him from a young age.

"I actually found the car that killed Ruan within three months [after the incident]," Anita says. "I contacted Sanral [SA National Roads Agency] and asked them for camera footage [of the highway] so we could find the car.

"You won’t believe it, but in the time frame we suspect Ruan was hit, thousands of Golfs passed through the toll gates.

'I knew we had him'

"I’d nearly given up hope but then we saw the Golf that was missing a right-hand mirror and buffer, and had a crack in the windscreen. That’s when I knew we had him."

She says the car was found months later and forensic evidence was gathered from it. "They [the police] compared the blood with my DNA but the results were inconclusive." Still she persevered.

"I remembered that I’d handed in the clothes he’d been wearing at another police station and that it had some of his blood on it," she recalls. "I fetched the clothes and took it to the investigating officer – that’s when they found a positive match between the blood on the car and the blood on his clothes, and made an arrest."

The suspect, a man in his late twenties, is charged only with culpable homicide but it’s expected that more charges will be added.

Anita says they’re not done fighting.

"I want the guilty party to go to jail. He’s changed so many peoples’ lives forever. I know it won’t bring my child back but I want him to be punished."

She says one often hears of unsolved cases or police incompetency. "That wasn’t the case with us. But we did have to persevere to find answers.

"On 2 August I’ll finally meet the man [suspect] face-to-face – and he’d better be ready for me."

Read more on:    gauteng  |  accidents

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