Crime, Court

Killer driver gets 3 years: Victim’s mother slams court for light sentence

The heartbroken mother of Xavier Nero, 20, says she was dismayed to find out that the maximum sentence applicable for a culpable homicide case was three years.

2021-07-24 08:28:00 AM

A Heideveld mother is left devastated after the taxi driver, who pleaded guilty to killing her son while he was out jogging, was only sentenced to three years in prison. crime court DailyVoiceSA

The heartbroken mother of Xavier Nero, 20, says she was dismayed to find out that the maximum sentence applicable for a culpable homicide case was three years.

ShareCape Town – A Heideveld mother is left devastated after the taxi driver, who pleaded guilty to killing her son while he was out jogging, was only sentenced to three years in prison.The heartbroken mother of Xavier Nero, 20, says after months of attending court proceedings at Athlone Magistrate's Court, she was dismayed to find out that the maximum sentence applicable for a culpable homicide case was three years.

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The young athlete, who was his family’s breadwinner, died tragically on 9 February when a taxi veered into the emergency lane and ploughed into him along Robert Sobukwe Drive.Xavier was flung into the air and landed on his head. He was declared dead on the scene and the taxi driver, Mabhwana Botwe, was arrested and charged with culpable homicide.

Mom Ramona Kettledas, 40, says on Monday, she arrived at court where she was told he had pleaded guilty.MORE ON THISJog in his memory: Slain young runner’s 21st birthday celebrated by his friends, family“The senior prosecutor spoke to us and explained that three years was the maximum sentence the court could give and that he was pleading guilty and there will be no trial,” she says. headtopics.com

“They asked me to write a statement about how I feel and I did so. The magistrate said we must come back the next day so that he could consider the matter and on Tuesday he was sentenced to just three years.“I got such askrik(fright) when they said he will be eligible for parole in just 18 months’ time.”

The mourning mother says since her son’s death, the family had fallen on hard times as Xavier, who worked at a container depot, helped care for his seven-year-old brother.She says the taxi driver was negligent and drove recklessly when he killed her son.

“What I don’t understand is that both Xavier and his friend were wearing reflector jackets and if the driver had just looked, he wouldn’t have hit my child.“His friend says the driver didn't even try to brake. I just want these taxi drivers that drive like this to know how quickly they can kill someone.

“Xavier was the breadwinner in this house and he has been working for years to support his family. He even left school to help us here at home.”On 11 April, residents in Heideveld celebrated Xavier’s 21st birthday by hosting an awareness run in the Cape Flats community. headtopics.com

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Xavier’s 21st birthday celebrations. Picture: SuppliedRamona says Xavier told his family before his death that he wanted to hand out food and host a sports day for his community and they had the party to honour him.“I really feel like the justice system failed us.

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