Reliving the trauma: Geordie Browne has shared the harrowing details of her husband's final moments, at the Johannesburg High Court. Photo: Sizwe Ndingane, The Star
February 26 2009 at 08:52AM
Two children, a seven-year-old girl and her four-year-old brother, were forced to watch as their father bled to death after his attackers had slit his throat.
Justin Browne was lying on his side and bleeding profusely when his children returned to the room in which he had rugby-tackled an armed robber.
Geordie, their mother, was on the phone in another room trying to get help when her children made the discovery. They called: "Mommy, mommy come quickly... daddy is dead."
This was the evidence on the second day of the murder trial of Kaman Kenneth Mukhari, 34, alias Mario do Santos, Jose Aurelio, 34, alias Domingo Mathebula, and Sidumo Mabaso, 34, charged with the murder of Justin on August 25, 2007.
Geordie said she rushed to her bedroom to find her husband gasping.
"As I got to his body and put my hands on his right shoulder, my fingers went into his wound. As I did that, he gasped - and I realised that the children were watching this."
She went out into the street of her Northwold, Randburg, home, calling out for help from her neighbours.
When paramedics arrived she begged them to help Justin first and then tend to the gunshot wound on her hand.
But the paramedics told her: "Madam, I am sorry your husband has passed."
Geordie said she described the attackers to the police before being loaded into an ambulance and taken to Olivedale Clinic. "I told the police our attackers were definitely not South Africans because of the manner in which they were talking. They were speaking a guttural language.
"When I spoke Afrikaans to my husband, they told us to stop speaking that language, saying they did not understand."
She said she also described the killers to the police and pointed out the accused at an identification parade in Krugersdorp on March 14.
"My children do not have a father. I became a widow at a young age.
"It made a huge financial impact on me because in the past I was a housewife," Geordie told prosecutor Lawrence Gcaba when he asked her about the impact the murder had on her family.
"It also put a huge emotional and psychological strain on my three children."
The accused have also been linked to several house robberies, mainly in Randburg.
The trial continues.
This article was originally published on page 2 of The Star on February 26, 2009