Wife of murdered Malmesbury train driver pleads for maximum sentence

2018-06-19 15:57
Pieter Barend (Piet) Botha. (Supplied)

Pieter Barend (Piet) Botha. (Supplied)

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The widow of murdered Metrorail train driver Piet Botha has asked the court to impose the maximum possible sentence on his killers, so that other families can be spared the pain that her's has endured.

The Western Cape High Court heard evidence in mitigation of sentence from various witnesses on Tuesday for the two found guilty of murdering Botha at Netreg station in broad daylight in July 2016.

Read: 'They must not get away with it' - wife of slain train driver

Jatheme Hamid and Dorian Diedericks, both minors at the time, shot and killed Botha on the platform after robbing him of his cellphone and bag.

The court found the two, now 18 and 19 respectively, guilty of murder‚ robbery‚ possession of an illegal firearm‚ possession of illegal ammunition‚ and gang-related charges last month.

A third man, 39-year-old Cedric Andrews, was found guilty of possessing illegal firearms and ammunition.

Botha's wife Tania told the court on Thursday that the maximum possible sentence was in the best interests of justice and the community.

"There is nothing that can bring my children's father back, or my husband back," an emotional Tania Botha said.

"But [the sentence] can protect other families from having to go through what we went through."

Also read: 'Piet won't die in vain,' Prasa vows at slain train driver's memorial

A probation officer told the court that Andrews had been convicted previously on drug and robbery-related charges.

Botha believed Andrews had "had his chance", and she had seen very little evidence of any remorse.

Botha said the family had suffered emotionally and financially over the past one year and 11 months since her husband's death.

'You have no idea what you did'

Her young daughter, who is in matric, would never be able to walk down the aisle on her wedding day with her father by her side.

They had spent this past Sunday, Father's Day, without their dad.

"You have no idea what you did," Tania Botha said, looking at the three men.

Counsel for Diedericks and Hamid told her that the pair acknowledged what they had done, and understood the impact of their actions on the family.

Botha replied that, if they were asking for forgiveness, they needed to show it through action and example. She had thus far seen little remorse, but said it was good that they acknowleged their actions.

The court also heard from a police captain who works for the railway police. She told the court that Netreg station was one of the three most dangerous stations in the city.

Residents in the nearby areas would use the station as "target practice" for throwing stones, and other activities.

They were also heavily understaffed, she said, with 89 employees spread across the entire central line area, and morning traffic making it difficult for them to police carriages at peak times.

The court was due to hear from one more witness, who works for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, on Tuesday.

Judge Mark Sher is expected to deliver sentence later this week.

Read more on:    metrorail  |  prasa  |  cape town  |  courts  |  crime

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