Family sighs with relief

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

When charges against Max Brechlin were withdrawn in court his mother and grandmother wept tears of joy.

Brechlin, 18, was accused of conspiracy to murder and possession of a dangerous weapon. The charges were withdrawn yesterday.

His appearance arose from the killing of Jacques Pretorius at the Nic Diederichs Technical High School in Krugersdorp on the West Rand.

When Brechlin was arrested on Monday he was found in possession of a samurai sword and a mask.

At the end of the case all Brechlin's family wanted to do was go to church to thank God that their son had been released.

Outside the Krugersdorp magistrate's court Brechlin's grandmother, Cornelia, said: "I am so relieved. He is my grandson. He is such a good boy.

"God is great. He knows who is guilty and who is not.

"My grandchild is not guilty. The other boy has never been to our house.

"My son was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is a normal, friendly, peaceful and loving like any other child."

His father, Horst, said: "What I can say is that the man in the sky works. We are now going to church to thank him."

The family said that they did not know Morne Harmse since he never visited their son.

"Actually my son was trying to help the boy who died," Brechlin's mother, Christa, said. "He tried to stop the bleeding by putting a cloth around his neck. We were so shocked when police arrested him on Tuesday."

Stephan Bouwer, 18, who survived the sword attack, said: "Max was only trying to help. He is one of the guys at school who is trained in first aid.

"He tried to help before the paramedics arrived."