“Dankie Here, nou kan ek darem slaap in die aand.”
These were the words of murdered 16-year-old Michaela Adriaanse’s mother, moments after her child’s rapist and killer, Bradley Noble, 37, was sentenced to two life terms in jail.
Felecia Adriaanse, 50, burst into tears at the Western Cape High Court on Friday shortly after the sentencing.
“I feel very happy today,” she says through her tears.
“Die Here het my gehoor toe ek gesê het hy moet twee life [sentences] kry en die Here het dit gedoen.Thank you Lord.”
Michaela was found dead in March last year after she was reported missing.
She and a group of friends bunked school and went to Kalk Bay Beach where they smoked dagga and drank alcohol.
There Noble introduced himself as a merchant from Retreat.
Following an argument with a friend over sunglasses, Michaela stormed off and Noble, who is from Manenberg, followed her and told her friends he would bring her back.
That was the last time the Hanover Park teen was seen alive.
Michaela’s body was found in the bushes near the beach two days later.
Noble was accused of raping Michaela then bashing her head with a rock. DNA evidence linked him to the murder.
On Friday, Judge Yolanda Renqe said Noble was “merciless” and had no regard for Michaela’s right to dignity.
“He brutally assaulted her and left her in a bush where her body was fed on by scavenger animals,” she said.
She said Noble “showed no remorse” during the trial and “profusely professed his innocence”.
Noble had several previous convictions including rape, for which he got a 10-year prison sentence, and assault.
During aggravation of sentencing, the court heard that Noble’s previous victim was 19 years old.
“The investigating officer said the victim was raped and assaulted, he threatened her with a knife when she refused to suck his penis,” said Judge Renqe.
“The investigating officer pointed out that [Noble] had two other cases of rape pending against him at Wynberg during this time.
“The accused pleaded not guilty for the previous rape case but he was found guilty.”
The public gallery burst into cheers when Noble was handed his sentence.
Michaela’s parents and three sisters, each of them wearing pink T-shirts with her face on, hugged each other as they left the courtroom with smiles on their faces.
Her father Sean Adriaanse, 52, said the sentencing brings some closure.
“He deserved it,” he says.
“I am a happy dad today, but it won’t bring my daughter back.
“His family can still go and visit, I can never go visit my daughter because she’s not there anymore.”