Comrade sheds last tears for dead colleagues

Vusi Ndlovu

Vusi Ndlovu

Fanie Schoeman, the policeman whose friends and colleagues perished in a macabre gun battle that left four policemen and eight robbers dead in Jeppestown, Johannesburg, shed tears after the robbers were sent to jail for a long time.

Schoeman tried hard to hold back tears when he spoke to journalists in the corridors of the Johannesburg high court building.

This was after Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng imposed life sentences on 11 convicted robbers and killers on June 25 2006.

Schoeman, who saw his colleagues die in a fierce gun battle on that fateful day, said he was satisfied that justice had been done.

He said of Mokgoatlheng: "He is a good judge."

Among his dead colleagues he singled out Frikkie van Heerden as a man about whom he had special memories.

"We grew up together. I will always remember him as a friend and colleague who was always there and willing to help anyone," Schoeman said.