North West mother opens up about the terrifying night her husband was murdered next to the N4 highway

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Johanette Kidson witnessed her husband, Juandré, shot and killed right in front of her and their baby daughter. (PHOTO: supplied)
Johanette Kidson witnessed her husband, Juandré, shot and killed right in front of her and their baby daughter. (PHOTO: supplied)

One moment she was putting a dummy in her baby daughter’s mouth. The next, she was lying on the tar, her body draped over her child to protect her from gunshots, the lifeless body of her husband next to them.

This is the horrific ordeal Johanette Kidson (24) endured on the evening of 7 May on the road between Rustenburg and Brits in North West. Their car had broken down and her husband, Juandré (29), had got out to get it going again. The next thing she knew, he was shot in the head right in front of her as he tried to protect their one-year-old baby.

Her voice trembles as she tries to describe the details of that fateful night to YOU.

They were on their way home to Brits when they were attacked. The family had gone to Rustenburg for errands and to visit Juandré’s parents.

“We wanted to drive home as soon as my daughter was bathed, fed a bottle and was asleep. Then it would be easier for her to stay asleep and we could just put her down for the night when we got home,” Johanette says.

They left Rustenburg after dark – between 7.30 and 8pm. Their car hit an object in the road at the Bokfontein offramp on the N4. “I don’t know what it was; we suspect rocks.”

READ MORE| Why we turned to private prosecution to get justice for our murdered daughter

They’d driven for about another kilometre when Juandré realised the car wouldn’t make it any further. He pulled the car off the road to investigate and noticed the left front wheel was shredded.

“He went to the boot [to get the jack], but it was packed full of our stuff. He tried moving things around without having to unpack and repack everything.”

Once Juandré got the equipment from the boot, he asked Johanette to hold up a torch so he could get the spare wheel from under the vehicle. Their baby started crying and Johanette went to check on her.

Hijack, N4, murder, family, South Africa
Juandré with his one-year-old daughter. (PHOTO: supplied)

As she was bending over their daughter to replace her dummy, Johanette heard her husband pleading for their lives.

He started screaming loudly and desperately, “‘No! No! Please, take everything. Just give me my wife and my child. Please. Take everything’.”

When she realised what was happening, she tried getting her daughter out of her car seat.

“As I was trying to pick her up, a man tapped on the driver’s window with a gun. Another man tried pulling me out of the car.”

A third man stood behind the car, his gun trained on Juandré.

“When the one man pulled me out of the car, Juandré tried to help me. I believe in my heart he wasn’t trying to hurt them – maybe he just wanted to help me get our daughter out of the car.”

But Juandré never made it to his wife and daughter. The gunman shot him twice in the head. Then they started shooting in the direction of Johanette and the baby.

“I heard one bullet go past then everything became a blur. My child was crying hysterically and I didn’t know if she'd been shot. They yanked us out of the car and one of the guys tried taking her from me. I just clung to her for dear life.”

Hijack, N4, murder, family, South Africa
Juandré, Johanette and their daughter. (PHOTO: supplied)

That’s when Johanette lay down on top of her child next to her husband’s body to try to shield her.

READ MORE| This brave Cape Town granny took a bullet for her eight-months pregnant neighbour

The man who yanked me from the car pointed his gun at me and screamed something – I don’t know what they were screaming.”

Juandré lost his life for two cellphones, the cash in his wallet, two bags of clothing, and his daughter’s nappy bag. There was another cellphone in the car the robbers didn’t take.

The attackers then fled on foot into the veld across the road.

“I took my husband’s arm - there was nothing. There was no life,” Johanette says.

That’s when she realised the only telephone number she knew by heart was his.

Still unsure whether her baby was wounded, Johanette walked toward the Bokfontein offramp with her daughter in her arms in search of help. A vehicle stopped and two men got out. She asked them to call the authorities.

A man driving a tow truck also stopped and said someone had WhatsApped him that they had heard gunshots in the vicinity.

“It won’t bring my husband back, but it’s important that people know what’s going on out there,” she says about sharing her story.

“My husband died protecting his family.”

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