Cape Town - There should be no mercy for her husband’s murderer, Colleen Woodman told the Western Cape High Court on Thursday where sentencing procedures began in the murder trial of self-confessed gangster Quinton Cordom.
Cordom was convicted on Monday of murdering Woodman’s husband, Wesley Woodman, who worked as a traffic officer.
Woodman was killed while he was issuing a fine to driver, Said Ariefdien, nearly a year ago on Prince George Drive. Cordom had opened fire on Ariefdien, who was an alleged member of the JFK gang, when Woodman pulled him over.
Moments before Colleen Woodman took to the stand yesterday to testify in aggravation of Cordom’s sentence, Cordom took to the stand to ask for her forgiveness, telling the court that he was “heartbroken”.
Prosecutor Shadrack Dikgopo asked Cordom if he wanted to apologise to Colleen Woodman. He agreed and tried to make eye contact with her, but she avoided this.
“I know an apology won’t bring him back, but I want to say I am really, really sorry. I hope you will find it in your heart to accept my apology,” Cordom said.
When Dikgopo asked Cordom which sentence he thought he deserved, he said he did not know. “I am leaving it in God’s hands. I didn’t know he had a wife and children. No punishment will ever rectify what I did,” he said. “I will take what I deserve.”
But for Colleen Woodman, Cordom’s words were not enough. As she stood in the witness stand, she shook as she spoke and dismissed Cordom’s plea for forgiveness as “putting on a show… to get a lesser sentence”.
“My husband was given no mercy, neither should (Cordom) be given any,” Colleen Woodman said.
Woodman said her family had suffered enormously since her husband’s death.
She said her 11-year-old daughter was rebelling and her sons, aged five and four, had constant nightmares about the death of their father.
She said the family now went for regular therapy sessions to deal with the trauma.
Richard Bosman, the executive director of the city’s Safety and Security Directorate, also gave testimony in aggravation.
He asked the State to impose the harshest sentence on Cordom. “The court has to send out a strong message that the killing of our officers needs to end,” said Bosman.
Bosman said three officers, which included metro police and traffic officials, had been killed in the line of duty since 2009, all of whom had been alone while issuing a ticket.
They had had their firearms stolen.
Sentencing procedures will continue on Monday.