Monday, 11 August 2008

Brother: I couldn't go to see his body

August 11 2008 at 07:21AM

By Noor-Jehan Yoro Badat

His death was captured as a "man killed at Sandton intersection", and featured a mere 94-word news brief in The Star.

But to his brother, Fritz Steyn, 53-year-old Johan Jurgens Steyn was his best friend and his world.

Johan was shot dead in a robbery incident in Sandton last Wednesday. When he had pulled up in his blue Toyota Tazz at the intersection of South Road and Marlboro Drive, three robbers approached him, shot him and made off with his valuables on foot. Johan died on the scene in his car.

'Then the news of it slowly sunk in'
Fritz, from Haddon, south of Johannesburg, received a call later that evening, while he was watching wrestling on TV, from his brother Danie, who broke the tragic news.

"I told him that he was lying and that it wasn't nice to joke about those kinds of things," Fritz said on Sunday.

"But then the news of it slowly sunk in. I just put the phone down and burst out crying," he said with tears almost spilling from his tired blue eyes.

The following day was harder to stomach. Reality hit him, Fritz said.

"I had lost my brother," he added, glancing at his wife Zita, who looked sadly at him.

"I couldn't go with them to identify the body. I wanted to remember my brother just the way he was," he added softly.

"We just feel like he lost his life for a cellphone. It's too heartsore," interjected Zita.

Fritz, holding a photo in his hands, stared at the face that resembled his own. Johan's face, slightly fuller, was smiling.

Johan's wife, Linda, wasn't ready to have the photo of her late husband published in a newspaper, explained Zita.

"It's still too raw for her and their two children," she added.

Johan was the kind of man who "wouldn't harm a fly", the kind of person who had time for everyone and the type of man who built a "love pond" in front of his door, filling it with "love rocks" to give to each child who came to his house.

"He was the sort of person who helped people," Zita said. Two months before he died, she narrated, he had helped his neighbour sort out the funeral of her husband. "But now he's dead People even lay bunches of flowers on the pavement outside his home," she added.

Johan worked as a generator technician for The Movie Camera Company, which supplies and services specialised equipment for the professional production of feature films, television series, documentaries and commercials.

Bramley police spokesperson Inspector Moses Maphakela said on Sunday they were investigating a case of murder and armed robbery. No arrests have been made.

The funeral service was to be held at Doves in Braamfontein at 11am on Monday morning.

This article was originally published on page 2 of The Star on August 11, 2008


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