Durban - Louise Scott, the fiancée of Brett Williams, who was kicked and beaten to death after a rugby match at Kings Park Stadium almost a year ago, flew into Durban on Sunday night, and saw his alleged attackers for the first time in the Durban Regional Court on Monday.
A tearful Louise Scott initially sat outside the courtroom watching the four men chat with their family, friends and lawyers.
Scott, who was accompanied by an unknown friend, then entered the public gallery and sat at the back of the courtroom with her head bowed.
It is her first time in South Africa and she will spent most of it on the sixth floor of the Durban magistrate’s court building, attending the trial of brothers Blayne and Kyle Shepard of Umbilo, and their friends, Andries van der Merwe, who lives on the Bluff, and Dustin van Wyk from Glenwood.
The four are charged with the murder of the former Royal Marine who, at the time of his death, had been working on a ship docked in Durban.
She is also determined to visit the rugby stadium where Williams died.
The couple’s four-year-old daughter, Lailah, is at home in England.
“She thinks I have gone on a course for work. She knows daddy is in heaven, but she does not know what happened. I will tell her when she is older. But she has been my strength. She misses Brett a lot and we often visit the cemetery where he is buried.”
Scott spoke of the huge amount of support she had received from South Africans, particularly on the Facebook site, after Williams was killed and said at home in England she had the support of her extended “marine family” and the Sea and Forces Families’ Association, which paid for her ticket to South Africa.
But, she said, any information regarding the legal proceedings in South Africa had essentially come via social media and journalists, with no official word from the prosecuting authority about the dates for the trial or that it was going ahead this morning.
“I hope the trial will finish in five days because I have to go home. But what will be will be. And if it does not, Josh can stay on for a few more days.”
Possibly one of the first in the witness box to testify against the accused will be their friend, Grant Cramer, who was first charged with them but who is now a State witness.
According to documents handed to the defence teams, Cramer and his girlfriend, Kristen Cooper, will be key witnesses.
Paramedic Derrick Banks, one of the first on the scene, will testify, as will two doctors, who will comment on the post mortem report.
Apart from handing in crime scene photographs, the State, represented by prosecutor Krishen Shah, is expected to present to the court photographs taken of the accused at the stadium before the incident which depict their clothing and video footage of them leaving the stadium after the alleged attack.
In a preamble to the charge sheet, the State alleges the accused acted with common purpose in committing the crime.
Evidence will be led that the accused, Cramer, Cooper and others attended the match, which ended at about 7pm.
At about 10pm, Blayne Shepard and Cooper had a row and Cramer and Cooper left the group.
They then also had an argument and Cooper walked away towards her friends who were near the tractor shed on the north-eastern side of the stadium.
Williams was “loitering” and “in a drunken state”, and he got into a confrontation with Cooper and swore at her.
Cramer then intervened and Williams attacked him.
The State alleges that Cramer defended himself and put Williams in a “choke hold”, which caused him to blackout and fall to the ground.
He was revived by paramedics.
The State will lead evidence that Cramer then realised a pendant he was wearing had gone missing. The accused arrived on the scene and “words were exchanged” between them, Williams and security guards, who were also shoved, pushed and threatened.
This led to a brawl, which led to Williams’s death.
The trial, before regional court magistrate Trevor Levitt, has been set down for a week.