'There is emptiness, but there is also peace' - dad in dock over murder of tik addict son

Sedick Abrahams, accused of killing his tik addict son, outside the Mitchells Plain Magistrates Court. (Tammy Petersen, News24)
Sedick Abrahams, accused of killing his tik addict son, outside the Mitchells Plain Magistrates Court. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

When Myrtle and Sedick Abrahams went to bed at night, they took their two-plate stove and kettle with them. Both were fearful that their son would use the appliances to injure them because they refused to give him money for drugs.

For 13 years, life was hell in their Mitchells Plain home.

But life has been different for the last three months.

Sedick, a 62-year-old pensioner, stands accused of murdering his tik-addict son Clinton, 28, in January following a row.

Sedick was released on a warning after Clinton's death, and on Wednesday appeared in the Mitchells Plain Magistrate's Court where the case against him was postponed until May 29.

"Things are calmer in the house. There is emptiness, but there is also peace," Sedick said after his appearance in the dock.

On the day of Clinton's death, Sedick had just finished hanging the laundry out to dry when his son started arguing with him about food, he said.

'My child was dead'

There was a scuffle and he said he feared his son would stab him with the knife that had been on the table.

He managed to get hold of it and held it to Clinton's chest.

"He would have hurt me. I held the knife to his chest so that he would stay away from me. But he came towards me."

Neighbours took Clinton to the local day hospital. When Sedick arrived, he was informed that his child had died.

"I wasn't in my right mind. My child was dead."

Clinton's mother Myrtle said she doesn't blame her husband for the death of their son.

"I can't. It was an accident, it wasn’t on purpose. And it's done," she said.

Everybody liked Clinton, Myrtle said, but in her house, he was someone else.

'I had to hide everything'

"I had to hide my fear. I had to hide everything.

"I bought glasses and cups that I had to hide. Now you can see it on display. I can unpack. He stole other people's things then I had to pay it back. He didn't think anything about what he did."

When she went to work, she would lock her doors so that he wouldn't steal valuables in the house.

"I showed him I wasn’t scared of him. He swore at me, and I said it back to him. I was his mother, but I went through a lot because of him. I put him out and for six months he went to stay with a friend. He didn't do these things there."

She specifically remembers December 31, when she repeatedly called the police because Clinton had been terrorising the family.

"They can check their system, I phoned them almost the whole day. They never came. I prayed: 'Lord, let this child sleep' so that I could get out. I could never do that; if I left, he would steal my things.

"He would swear and argue with me and his dad. He could rattle Sedick because he knew he was soft. But I am not."

My child 'will never come home'

This doesn't mean the mother of three doesn't miss him, she said.

"At night I sleep for an hour, then I wake up. I look through the window and wonder when my child is coming. But he will never come home. No matter what I do, he will never come."

Sedick said he always hoped his son would change.

"But he didn’t. We spoke to him, prayed, but he wouldn’t listen. He wasn’t an easy person. He is our child; we just had to [accept it]."

But before Clinton turned to tik at the age of 15, he was a pleasant child, making his parents cups of tea and constantly asking if all is well.

"He was a peaceful person. But when he started with the drugs... there was always unrest in the house."

Sedick, who intends to plead self-defence, said he found the legal process intimidating.

"It's my first experience in a courtroom. It's not easy at my age. I am a soft-hearted man. I don’t talk a lot. I don’t have much to say. But how I feel…"

'They were living in a hell'

He hoped the court would show leniency towards him.

"They must decide what will happen. And I must just accept it."

People came out in their numbers to support Sedick on Wednesday.

Among them was Joanie Fredericks of the Mitchells Plain Impact Association, which offers support to victims of violent crime.

"In this case, Sedick is a victim as much as his son. If we look at the 13 years of abuse, obviously he and his wife and the rest of the children have been suffering. They were living in a hell," she said.

The result of his addiction meant his parents were already living in a jail of sorts, Fredericks insisted.

"We are here to support them and his call for freedom, because he has already suffered enough. There is nothing the court or a jail cell can do that can be worse than the past 13 years.

"Our house is our sanctuary, where we're supposed to feel safe and loved. But he didn’t find it there. So we will walk this road right through to the end and we'll help him petition the court to set him free so that he can finally, for the first time in 13 years, have a life of [peace]."

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