Johannesburg – The family of Nathaniel “Lokkie” Julies have alleged the constant postponement of the case was a ploy to dissolve it.
Lokkie’s mother, Bridgette Julies, was in tears at yet another postponement – the fourth since the suspects were arrested – for the bail application of accused number three Voster Netshiongolo at the Protea Glen Magistrate’s Court on Friday. The case was postponed to December 1.
The three accused, Netshiongolo, Simon “Scorpion” Ndyalvane and Caylene Whiteboy, face charges for killing the 16-year-old almost three months ago, along with meddling with the crime scene.
The deceased, who was living with Down syndrome, was shot outside the notorious Hillbrow flats in Eldorado
Park, next to a broken down truck with deflated tyres and dirty windows.
The mother and her husband Clint Smith, sitting outside their home in Eldorado Park just metres away from where her son was shot, both wore matching T-shirts with the words “Justice for Nathaniel” soon after they arrived home from the Protea Glen Magistrate’s Court.
Julies could not stop asking: “When are we getting justice. When is this going to end”, in a conversation, with tears streaming down her face.
She also believes that justice for Nathaniel is justice for everyone in Eldorado Park as people are living in fear and children don’t play freely like they used to before her son was shot, she said.
“What keeps happening with our case is just shocking. We really feel like the justice system of South Africa is not doing enough to restore faith to its people who already are not confident in it, us included. With every postponement, I lose hope,” she said.
“It’s been three months and these people were supposed to have done their job and be prepared for trial. They have no idea how difficult it is for us to live with this uncertainty daily. The sooner this ends, the sooner we start to heal,” she said, explaining that the pain of losing her son in this cruel manner has caused a hurt that she believes nothing can heal.
Julies said she’s been waiting long enough to face the three accused who have allegedly taken her boy away from her, saying she wanted answers as to why anyone would be pushed to pull the trigger on a defenceless boy.
“I buried my boy on the day I turned 40 years old, on September 5th. I will never be able to celebrate my birthday normally because it will always remind me of this pain that seems trivial to others,” she said.
Julies also described how the stress of this entire case has resulted in her losing weight, “I used to wear a size 32 and now I’m down to size 29”, and that home is no longer the same for all of them.
“Today (Friday) was especially hard for me. I woke up thinking about my boy’s smile and I was convinced that the case will move to the High Court and we can move closer to receiving justice. But here we are again, going around in circles.
“I am really tired. A decisive example needs to be made with these three so South Africans see that there are good people and those that are bad will be punished. This win needs to happen for everyone, not just us.”
Independent Police Investigative Directorate spokesperson Ndileka Cola said the case had been remanded because the forensic reports are still outstanding, which forms an integral part of this investigation.
“The three accused face serious charges. They are still held in custody and have been denied bail. This is an indication that not just Ipid but the state takes this case very seriously.”
Putting the family at ease, she added: “Ipid would like to urge Nathaniel’s mother to please be patient with the process. Ultimately, the directorate wants to ensure justice for her and the rest of the Eldorado community”.