They’d been childhood sweethearts and were together for 27 years – and then her life was claimed in a hit-and-run.
“I still can’t believe it,” says Eben Niemann, a businessman from Mbombela, Mpumalanga.
“How can someone do something like that and just drive away? Do they have no conscience?”
Eben and his wife, Letisia (38), had been out with friends when a white Toyota bakkie with a GP registration ran her over.
“We’d had a braai and then decided to have a drink at a new bar that had opened across the street,” Eben says.
“We weren’t there long and decided to go back home. We were walking across the road when we heard the bakkie approaching. He drove at a hectic speed. Letisia was at the side of the road when the driver lost control of the bakkie and hit her.”
Letisia rolled over the bonnet and fell to the ground. The driver reversed, driving over her, before speeding off.
“I was hysterical. I tried breaking the bakkie’s window with my fist to get the driver out. I practically crushed my hand.
“I’m still struggling to understand it. To come to terms with the fact that she won’t be waking up next to me every morning ever again.”
Eben and Letisia are both prominent businesspeople in Mbombela and own a construction company.
A case of negligent and reckless driving and culpable homicide has been opened with the police.
CCTV footage of the nearby shopping centre apparently shows how the bakkie ploughed into her and then sped off.
“As we understand it, the camera did get the guy’s face but we don’t know if the number plate is visible,” Eben says.
Police have yet to identify the suspect, who’s yet to be found.