Happy again after the horror

By admin
26 March 2010

She remembers Valentine’s Day in 2006 as if it were yesterday: the gun pressing against her stomach bulging with her unborn child, the two shots that rang out, the excruciating pain as she instantly went into labour and the emergency Caesarean.

She remembers her futile prayers that the baby would survive and the only time she held Jenna-May’s tiny, lifeless, still-warm body.

Nine days later came a further shock: her partner, the father of her child, had instigated the killing.

Most people would be permanently embittered by such gross betrayal but the sparkle has returned to Melissa Shelver’s blue eyes.

The 27-year-old East Londoner whose story gripped South Africans has again found love. In Paarl she introduces us to Jason Dyer (29) whom she’s marrying in two months’ time.

“Jason was my first serious boyfriend at school in East London and when his dad was transferred to Paarl our relationship carried on for a few years but then the long distance took its toll.

“I never forgot him but never in my wildest dreams thought we’d get back together again.”

When the truth about the so-called attempted hijacking emerged Melissa’s then partner, David Best (31), was found guilty of offering Ludwe Mashumpa R8 000 to shoot Melissa in the stomach so she’d lose the baby.

Best is serving a 21-year jail sentence and Mashumpa was sentenced to 15 years behind bars.

“For years I was terrified. I lost my faith in human beings. But part of my healing process was to forgive David,” Melissa says of the computer specialist who worked with her at a debt-collecting company in East London.

When Jason heard about Melissa’s ordeal he desperately wanted to contact her but was scared. Then he had a dream. “It was on 1 May last year. I dreamt I went to her house and everyone was glad to see me. The next day I sent her an SMS.”

Melissa and Jason will marry on 1 May. “Little Jenna will always be part of me but I’m so looking forward to having another baby, especially with the man I love,” Melissa says.

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