News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
2 Aug 2018
6:45 am

Bring back the death penalty, twice bereaved husband pleads

Ilse de Lange

When you shoot a woman to death you also deserve to die, said Jurie Steenberg after the trial of the alleged killers was again postponed.

Riekie, left, and Jurie Steenberg. Picture: Facebook

A Pretoria businessperson whose wife was murdered during a robbery, at the same smallholding where his first wife was also murdered six years earlier, is battling to cope and fears justice might never be done.

Jurie Steenberg, 55, whose wife Suna died in 2010, six months after she was shot in the head during a violent robbery at their smallholding in Kameeldrift, near Cullinan, was forced to relive the trauma of his first wife’s death when robbers pounced again in June 2016, shooting his second wife Riekie to death and seriously injuring him.

No one was ever arrested in connection with Suna’s murder, which remains unsolved.

The trial of two men accused of murdering Riekie and attempting to kill Jurie was yesterday delayed and might only start next week.

Judge Bert Bam provisionally postponed the trial of 45-year-old Dolphy Sambok and 25-year-old Karabo Semake to August 10 after he was informed that a second legal aid advocate would have to be appointed to represent the accused because of a conflict of interest.

Riekie Steenberg’s alleged killers Dolphy Sambok, left, and Karabo Semake.

A clearly upset and angry Steenberg, who owns a thatching business, said he was very disappointed about yet another delay of the trial, which has still not commenced two years later.

He said: “Something has to happen. It’s bad enough that the police had to let one of the alleged murderers go because of outstanding forensic results and that he has since disappeared.

“To rub salt into the wounds, fingers were pointed at me as having something to do with Riekie’s death. I was also wounded in the attack and need a back operation, but some people are still accusing me of her death.

“My first wife’s killers were never caught. I should never have gone back to the smallholding, but it’s difficult to find a buyer. I have now sold the place at a huge loss just to get away. There are a lot of attacks and robberies in that area, most of which are never solved. You sit there like a duck.

“There’s no justice in this country. They must bring back the death penalty. When you shoot a woman to death you also deserve to die.”

Riekie’s father Renier Basson and sister Daleen Smuts were close to tears.

Daleen said the murder had broken her mother and they just wanted closure.

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