'I cannot trust anyone'

2008-01-24 20:04

Johannesburg - About 600 mourners, officials, politicians and family members gathered at a memorial service held for the victims of the Skielik shootings just outside Swartruggens on Thursday afternoon.

One of the victims, Tshepo Motshelanoka, was a grade five student at Mazista Intermediate School in the area.

School principal, Cherian Kocheapen said: "Our pupils cried after this incident. People are afraid of the place (Skielik) and the situation. It is not safe at all and we cannot express how we are feeling at losing Tshepo, I hope the government will take drastic measures."

Tshepo's uncle, Jacob Motselanoka (30), said that when Tsehopo's mother arrived home after hearing about the incident she was "not well at all".

'I can't trust anyone in this life'

"I feel there is no trust in the world and I have learnt that I cannot trust anyone in this life," he said.

Mayor of the Kgetlene area, Willemiena Moleko, said she could not understand how "he (Johan Nel) could look at a 10-year-old child and put three bullets in him".

Moses Clifton, grandfather of three-month old Keditlhotse Elizabeth Moithitlhi who was killed, said the family live in fear and at night they jump at every noise.

"We had many people here from political parties asking us what happened and how we felt," said Clifton.

"We ask for the law to take it's course," said Motselanoka.

The man alleged to have carried out the killings, Johan Nel, 18, appeared briefly in the Swartruggens Magistrate's Court around 09:30.

It is alleged that Nel left a Swartruggens farm last Monday and drove 10km out of town to the Skielik informal settlement. There he allegedly gunned down 10 people, killing four.

The magistrate postponed the trial to February 12.

Cans, stones thrown at car

At the end of proceedings, Nel was driven away from the Swartruggens courthouse as protesters threw stones and cans at the armoured police vehicle he was travelling in.

Earlier the crowd, which had gathered outside the courthouse, broke down the main gate and were forcefully pushed aside by riot police.

They were chanting: "We want Nel!"

Nel's attorney, Frikkie Pretorius, said that a criminologist, psychologist and psychiatrist would be hired to try to have Nel admitted to Weskoppies, a psychiatric facility in Pretoria, for observation.