“I was left a single mom, not by choice, but by the evil committed that night.”
These were the painful words shared by Allison Fredericks, the widow of Grant Fredericks who was murdered in Strandfontein three years ago.
For the first time since the fatal robbery in September 2016, Allison has opened up on how her husband’s death had affected her and her children’s lives.
State prosecutor Alfred Isaacs read out Allison’s victim impact statement during mitigation and aggravation of sentencing at the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday, where Zingisile Kleinhans, Siphokule Bulana, Xola Nakumba, Thema Jilaji and Mongemeli Dyani await their fate.
Grant, 39, was shot in the back outside a tuck shop in Milano Street, San Remo in Strandfontein, and his red VW Polo stolen.
The men had demanded his car keys and he tried to fight them off.
Grant's vehicle was stolen. Picture supplied
In April, Kleinhans, Jilaji and Dyani were found guilty of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and the possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
Bulana and Nakumba were found not guilty of these charges as they could not be placed at the scene.
All five men were convicted of trying to rob the Robb Trigg jewellery store in Claremont on 21 September 2016, money laundering, and charges relating to the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (Poca).
In her statement, the grieving widow said she and her two young sons have suffered following her husband’s murder.
The businesswoman owned a hairdresser in Strandfontein, but said Grant was the main breadwinner.
“Now my children have to live off Sassa.
“We are struggling financially and this has affected my health.
“I have developed shingles and anxiety and my children have had to see the school psychologist and could not write their exams.
"It doesn’t matter what sentence they get, it will not bring Grant back,” she said.
One of the guilty men.
The State is calling for life sentences.
Isaacs says the men were well-prepared for their crime spree.
The had scouted out the jewellery shop the day before, and even had a cloned number plate ready for Grant’s stolen vehicle.
They were nabbed when a brave employee at the winkel pressed the panic button, causing the men to flee.
Cops caught them soon thereafter in Grant’s car.
Isaacs called for an extremely harsh sentence for the Poca crimes: a R100 million fine or 30 years in jail.
The defence asked for a lesser sentence, saying the men had no previous convictions and had stable jobs before their imprisonment.
Gang's jewellery heist went pear-shaped. Supplied
On Thursday, Kleinhans, Jilaji and Dyani, was sentenced to life behind bars with an additional 21 years for the attempted robbery at a jewelry store in Claremont.
Their two accomplices, Bulana and Nakumba also received 21 years imprisonment for their role during the attempted robbery.
More on the sentencing in the Daily Voice on Friday.