February 24, 2016

#MURDER: UPDATE: Gerda Havenga, partner of Marius du Toit who was murdered in front of his son has spoken out about life without him

Easter Sunday murder update: ‘Life is difficult without him’...Old wounds were opened when she had to identify suspects linked to her partner’s death.
Gerda Havenga with a photo of her late partner.
Gerda Havenga with a photo of her late partner

Du Toit was shot and killed in his home in Culemborg Park on Easter Sunday last year.

When the Herald visited Havenga, her fear of a similar incident happening again was evident as, throughout the interview, she checked and rechecked whether the door was locked. Havenga explained how difficult life has been since his death.

It’s been 10 months and I’m still not over it. It’s definitely more difficult with the court case approaching,” she said.

Captain Appel Ernst, Randfontein Police spokesperson said at the time four men had overpowered the family and shot and killed Marius in the presence of his son who was 15 years old at the time.

She confirmed that suspects had been arrested in connection with the Easter Sunday shooting and house robbery and an identification parade was held.

Identifying the suspects was the absolute worst. It was extremely traumatic for me. On top of all of that, I was worried about my son. He had to identify suspects as well,” Havenga said.

Since the murder in their home at the time, Havenga has moved, but she feels trapped inside her new home as she fears something similar could happen again.

“I stayed with a friend of mine for a few months but got my own place again. I just couldn’t live in the house where my husband was murdered.

I’m living in fear. It’s so frustrating. Every night I sleep with a panic button in my one hand and a flashlight in the other.”

She even sleeps with the lights on. “Ever since that night, I developed a fear of the dark.”

For her the worst part about the incident was that she did not realise Du Toit was dead.

“I thought he had passed out. My biggest regret is that I didn’t have the opportunity to say goodbye.”

That was not the only tragic incident to hit the family. Just three months later his son broke his hip in an accident.

Havenga and Du Toit were together for 20 years and were engaged for 19 and a half years.

Marius worked away a lot and every year we said we would get married in October but we never got around to it. I think if Marius ever had a last wish, it would be to marry me,” Havenga said.