For four years pensioner Janet Abrahams lived each day with the pain of not finding the body of her daughter to bury.
Her daughter, Nicolette Albertyn, was killed by her husband, Fadiel Moegamad Albertyn, at their Chrisville home, south of Joburg, on March 13, 2015 after an argument.
The South Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg, found Albertyn guilty of murder and defeating the ends of justice last year.
State prosecutor Mahlubi Ntlakaza relied on evidence of blood traces found in the home to prove Albertyn murdered his wife.
The blood splatters indicated that a bloodied Nicolette was dragged through the flat.
Neighbours also confirmed hearing screams the night Albertyn killed the mother of his daughter, now 9 years old.
Albertyn has never revealed where he disposed of the body. Nicolette was 37 when she was killed.
Abrahams had a glimpse of her daughter’s killer one more time yesterday in court, where she hoped to hear of his long-term imprisonment.
But it was not to be. Defence lawyer Lumka Qoqo asked for a postponement of sentencing proceedings, saying she had not had a chance to consult Albertyn to prepare her mitigation of sentence arguments.
“I didn’t get a chance to consult the accused,” she told the court. “I’ve got no choice but to ask for a postponement of this matter.”
Acting Judge Collin Matshitse granted the postponement. The sentencing proceedings would be held from July 2 to 4.
Wearing a brown leather jacket and a white fez (a Muslim hat), Albertyn seemed unfazed in the dock.
Speaking to The Star outside court, Abrahams said the postponement added to her concerns.
“It’s been four years now, four years and the case still gets postponed. She (Qoqo) had ample time to consult him,” she said. “What do they think about me, the mother, how I feel?”
But even if the case was concluded and Albertyn was sentenced yesterday, Abrahams would still not have had closure. Not a day goes by without her heart yearning to give her daughter a proper burial.
“I’m sitting with a grandchild who doesn’t know what happened to her mother,” Janet said. “I need closure. Why can’t he tell what he did to my daughter? Why can’t he tell his family what he did to her? Where’s the body?”
Rumour has it that another person was seen leaving the flat with Albertyn the morning after he killed Nicolette.
Abrahams said: “He doesn’t bring out the one (person) that was with him that night. Why? His family doesn’t want to say anything.”
Testifying for aggravation of sentence three months ago, Abrahams described her experience of not finding the body as traumatic. She told the court she has lost weight. “I cannot sleep and I take sleeping pills because I do not know where my child is. I don’t know what happened that Friday night (she died).”