‘I started screaming’

Source: http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_2321869,00.html

13/05/2008 22:57 – (SA)

Magdel Fourie, Beeld

Johannesburg – “I looked down and saw Danielle was covered in blood and I started screaming.”

This was how Anel Esterhuizen described the moment when her five-year-old daughter, Danielle, was shot in the head by a robber while sitting on her lap.

With a quivering voice, she sat in the witness stand on Tuesday in Johannesburg High Court, and then pointed out to the court for the first time who the man was who had pointed a pistol at her and Danielle, and shot her daughter dead.

She turned to the dock and looked David Nqomane in the eye and said, “That is Number One.”

Nqomane was on trial with Tsakane Sithole, 25, and Thabang Jane, 26, for Danielle’s murder on December 20 2006.

She was shot dead when a gang of robbers attacked her and her family during a fishing trip at Riebeeck Lake in Randfontein.

‘This is a robbery’

Anel, dressed in black and taking deep breaths, told how her husband, Diederick, had suggested they go home just minutes before the attack took place.

“But Danielle wanted to stay because it was so nice there.”

Danielle was sitting on Anel’s lap and had just crawled under her mother’s jacket when four men approached them.

Anel said that one of the four cocked the pistol in his hand and pointed it at Diederick with the words: “This is a robbery.”

He then fired several shots.

Anel said: “It sounded like a lot of fireworks. In fright, I squeezed my eyes closed and pressed Danielle’s head against my chest.” she said.

Next, she “heard something fall” and saw one of the robbers lying on the ground with his legs pulled up towards him, firing at them between his legs.

Saw child covered in blood

“I saw something like a red marble flying through the air at us and then felt something burning my thumb.”

Next, she felt as if someone had opened a tap of lukewarm water over her chest, she said, shaking.

She looked down immediately and saw her bloody child.

Diederick grabbed Danielle from her and rushed to hospital.

Police arrived at the lake shortly after that and Anel rushed to the hospital with them and where she ran into the casualty department.

“A doctor came out just then and said Danielle already had died,” her mother remembered on Tuesday with tears flowing.

On the third appearance of the three suspects at Randfontein Regional Court, Anel went into the court room for the first time.

Pointed out the man

“When they came into the court, I had my father and our pastor sitting on either side of me. I immediately recognised the one who had shot Danielle.”

She then went to see Inspector Peet Venter, the investigating officer.

On Tuesday, she pointed out the man for the court record.

She said: “Of course, I recognised him. He was only a metre from me and Danielle that night.”

The hearing was to continue on Wednesday.


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