Centurion hit-and-run: Mom collapses when she sees suspect

A couple from Centurion, Gauteng, have been searching for answers for more than a year after their 18-year-old son died under mysterious circumstances.

Now, finally, a suspect has appeared in court on Thursday.

Ruan Viljoen, a former pupil at Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool in Pretoria, died on March 19, 2017 after a hit-and-run on the N4 highway in Centurion, Gauteng.

Viljoen had visited friends on the evening of 18 March. It’s suspected that on his way home he had car trouble, locked the car and left it by the side of the road, and was walking to a nearby petrol station when he was hit by another car.

The autopsy showed nearly every bone in his body had been broken. He died on impact.

READ: Suspect caught a year after Centurion hit-and-run accident

Since the accident his mother Anita and stepfather Sergei Greyvenstein have been searching for the person who claimed their son’s life and "hadn’t even bothered to stop the car".

The first ray of hope came through after Siphiwe Mahlaba, 29, was arrested last month. Siphiwe is the owner of a Volkswagen Golf – the same vehicle from which parts were found at the accident scene.

Anita and Sergei first saw Mahlaba face to face on Thursday in the magistrate’s court in Pretoria.

"Anita collapsed," Sergei told YOU.

"Mahlaba was sitting just three rows behind us in the courtroom. You’re so angry, so sad – but for the first time you feel as if the investigation has gained momentum. For the first time it feels as if we’re moving toward getting justice for Ruan."

Sergei says he and Anita had no interaction with Mahlaba.

"Anita cried the whole time. We were both upset. What made it worse was that we didn’t know the [court] procedure.

"At one point I stood up and asked the magistrate if he could explain the court procedure to us.

"They later said they’d ban me from the court room for contempt of court but luckily a state prosecutor took me outside and explained the procedure to me. I could take these answers back to Anita."

ALSO READ: 'They left him like a dog on the side of the road'

He says it was disturbing to see Mahlaba for the first time.

"It was terribly upsetting – that’s why Anita was emotional throughout the proceedings. We’re afraid – afraid the case will be prolonged, afraid that we’ll never really get answers, and afraid that Mahlaba will be given a suspended sentence.

"We’ll have to keep praying and persevering, just as we’ve been doing for the past year to bring the guilty party to justice."

The proceedings were postponed to 27 August, when Mahlaba is expected to enter a plea which will determine the start of a trial.

Captain Agnes Huma, police spokesperson, was unable to provide YOU with more specifics about the court proceedings in the case.

She said police will disclose more information once a meeting with the investigating officer has been conducted.

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