Donate and HELP us spread the News

We need your HELP!, Donate R50 to assist The Bulletin in reporting on your Community News. Click on the donate button on the right. →

Monday, August 10, 2020
16.1 C

    Joubert and Ladeira sentenced

    Albertus Joubert’s wife was crying in the Evander Regional Court on 15 June, while he and Wesley Ladeira were sentenced to five years’ imprisonment on charges of culpable homicide.
    Although it was Joubert’s vehicle that knocked Christelle Swanepoel off her bicycle in Oliver Tambo Drive, both men were convicted last year for causing her death on 1 May 2012.
    Regional Court Magistrate Mashigo based his guilty verdict of Ladeira on the testimonies of three eyewitnesses that a street race had ensued between Ladeira in his M5 BMW and Joubert in his turbo charged Uno just before the accident.
    Christelle and her husband of six months, Richard, were on the curb when Joubert’s vehicle crashed into them.
    Her head was almost severed by the impact.
    She was declared dead on the scene.
    Her father, Dr Hannes Welman was accompanying the couple at the time.
    Both men were also found guilty of driving recklessly – a charge stemming from the injuries sustained by Richard, but on Wednesday, Ladeira was sentenced to additional jail time of 12 months for reckless driving.
    A social worker who evaluated Joubert said before the sentence was passed, that since the day of the accident, the family has experienced stress as Joubert’s legal bills have piled up to about R250 000.
    They have also experienced public condemnation because the story appeared in the media.
    “He has been living from court case to court case,” said the social worker.
    According to her, Joubert’s wife has been receiving phone calls from the community who are judging her.
    She could not cope and had to see a trauma counsellor.
    “She believes her husband made a mistake, but has learnt from his mistake.
    “At the end of it all, he must still forgive himself,” said the social worker.
    State Prosecutor Anel Viljoen answered this statement by expressing her concern that neither Joubert nor Ladeira at any point during the long distance they had been racing, reached a state of inner correction of realising they were travelling too fast.
    Ladeira’s lawyer said he is self-employed and also employs 16 people who will lose their jobs if Ladeira goes to jail.
    The state prosecutor said: “Neither accused has asked for forgiveness or has shown any remorse.
    “They blame each other and although both had ample time during their race to slow down, both wanted to win the race.
    “No distinction should be made between the two men because they both contributed in the act of a life lost.”
    Regional Court Magistrate Mashigo agreed none of the accused had shown remorse during the trial.
    “Both accused consciously embarked on a dangerous manoeuvre and they are old enough to distinguish between right and wrong,” said Mashigo.
    “They disregarded the rights of other road users.
    “The court will also take into account the family of the deceased, who was a helpless victim.
    “Dr Welman stated in a report that whatever sentence will be imposed, it will not bring back his daughter.”
    Mashigo said there will never be another Christelle Swanepoel.
    “The sentence must show that the life of Christelle Swanepoel mattered.
    “The aggravating factors outweigh the personal circumstances of the accused.
    “A short time in prison will allow both accused to reflect on what they did.”
    Joubert and Ladeira indicated that they will appeal the sentence. – Jana Oosthuizen.

    Dr Hannes Welman and his daughter  Christelle Swanepoel use to cycle often. Chirstelle was killed on 1 May 2012.
    Dr Hannes Welman and his daughter Christelle Swanepoel use to cycle often. Chirstelle was killed on 1 May 2012.

    Joubert and Ladeira sentenced