“Constance, is it fair?”
These words from visibly upset Redan resident, Erina will forever haunt me as she narrated why they were protesting outside the Vereeniging Magistrate’s Court this morning.
Erina and some other residents feel let down by the justice system. “Do we have justice in South Africa?”
It is said that on August 31 2020 in Redan, an argument erupted between the late Leon du Toit who was 60 years old, and the suspect, Daniel Jacobus “Daan” Opperman Lowings (69). Lowings owned a garden service and is said to have pulled out a firearm during the argument with du Toit. He fired the gun, killing Leon on the spot. He then fled to his house where he was arrested on murder charges on the same day, only to be released the very next day on a R300 bail.
Besides shooting and killing Du Toit, Daan allegedly fired shots at another resident, Mienie who managed to escape to his house unscathed. Should this not be another charge, attempted murder, perhaps?
Residents vow that Daan’s firearm is unlicensed and allege that 3 other unlicensed firearms were found in his home. He is known to have threatened children with his firearm countless times. Hence the community members feel let down by the justice department and are crying foul. They stood with placards outside Vereeniging Magistrate’s Court this morning demanding Daan’s incarceration. “We want justice for Leon. This can be any one of us tomorrow, even our children. We don’t feel safe with him walking around freely.”
The case was postponed to the 11th of March 2021 at Vereeniging Magistrate’s Court, “This is the third postponement and we will keep coming to protest, even on the 11th, we will be here as well. We are pleading with the ANC to come and help us. In fact, we are reaching out to anyone who can help at all to please help us get Dan in jail. Leon deserves justice. He can’t die in vain. Lowings murdered a man in cold blood, why is he roaming the streets freely? Where is justice in South Africa?”
“It will only be fair for me to comment when I have the facts of the case. I am sorry we can’t get a case no. But I think the justice department will be able to assist as the case is at court,” says the SAPS Spokesperson Captain Fikile Funda.
Story by Connie V