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Durban - When Louise Scott, the fiancee of Brett Williams, took a photo of him lovingly embracing their 4-year-old daughter Lailah, she had no idea it would be the last photo taken of the two together.
That was on March 22 last year, the day Williams, a Royal Marine, left Plymouth and flew to Durban, where he went to a rugby match at Kings Park to watch the Sharks take on the Melbourne Rebels.
The home team won by an overwhelming margin and it was during the after-match revelry that Williams got involved in an argument and was killed.
On Monday Scott, still grieving the loss of her partner and Lailah’s father, will come face to face with the five men accused of his murder.
“I worry about how I will react when I see the accused. Lailah and I miss Brett very much and it feels like he was with us just yesterday. It hurts even more when Lailah says she misses Brett.
“I had no idea the photo of him and Lailah, taken on the day Brett left for South Africa, would be the last memory she has of him. He was my best friend and to lose someone so suddenly was devastating for us. I will never forget him.”
Scott is expected to arrive in the country today for the trial.
“I am here out of duty to Brett. I don’t feel anything for the men who did this. I think if they get convicted it will be a positive move for the people of Durban. But the outcome of the trial doesn’t matter… Brett is still gone.”
The accused, brothers Blayne, 23, and Kyle Sheppard, 25, Andries van der Merwe, 23, and Dustin van Wyk, 23, will appear before Magistrate Trevor Levitt in the Durban regional court on Monday.
Grant Cramer, 23, was also charged, but has since turned State witness.
The other four men face charges of murder, assault, grievous bodily harm, crimen injuria and public violence.
Prosecutor Krishen Shah will submit that Williams was involved in two altercations near the Tractor Shed on the north eastern side of the stadium, which ultimately led to his death.
Williams is alleged to have been in a drunken state.
He allegedly got into an argument with Kirsten Cooper, which led to a fight between him and her boyfriend Cramer.
Cramer managed to hold Williams in a “necklock” position until he passed out.
That altercation drew the attention of security officials and paramedics, who were able to revive Williams.
By this time, the four accused arrived on the scene and were drawn into a verbal exchange with Williams which escalated into a fight.
Security officials and paramedics who tried to intervene were also allegedly sworn at and assaulted by the accused.
Shah will attempt to convince Levitt that the accused acted with common cause when perpetrating their alleged crimes.
Initially Cramer was arrested with the four accused and they were commonly referred to as the “Kings Park 5”. But the State later withdrew charges against Cramer due to a lack of evidence.
He is expected to testify on behalf of the State along with Cooper, whose brother Kyle Cooper is a Sharks hooker.
The other witnesses the State is likely to call on to substantiate its case are paramedics and security personnel who were at the scene, friends of Cramer and Cooper, vendors and police investigators.
Advocate Jacque Botha and attorney Christo van Schalkwyk will represent the Blayne brothers, attorney Malcolm Lutge will take up the fight on behalf of Van der Merwe and Van Wyk has attorney Raneshan Naidoo in his corner.
Cramer’s legal representatives are advocate Paul Jorgensen and attorney Johan Jooste.
Proceedings are set down for five consecutive days in L Court and the outcome of this trial is eagerly anticipated.
The incident rocked the famed after-parties on Kings Park’s outer fields.
Sharks officials responded by placing tighter controls on the flow of booze at the stadium and jacked up security operations.
A Facebook page was set up shortly after Williams’s death called “Brett Williams killers to rot in jail”. The page has been inundated with responses.