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Cape Town - Two of the men involved in the murders of actor Brett Goldin and fashion designer Richard Bloom were released on parole on Wednesday morning.
Convicts Jade Wyngaard and Nurshad Davids were initially sentenced to 15 years each for robbery, kidnapping and possession of an unlicensed firearm, but three years were taken off because they agreed to testify for the State at the trial – which never happened because their co-accused submitted plea bargains.
The pair were handed 12-year sentences, which they have served at Drakenstein prison, in Paarl, and launched three unsuccessful attempts to be granted parole since serving half of their sentences.
They were advised they would be “conditionally released” on June 26, but strictly under house arrest – and were set free on Wednesday.
Western Cape Correctional Services spokesman Simphiwe Xako said at 10.30am: “They are being driven to their homes as we speak.”
Xako said they had been fitted with electronic “tags” on Wednesday morning, one of their parole conditions.
“They were tagged this morning, and their parole will last until February 25, 2018,” Xako said.
Other strict parole conditions were that they must not consume alcohol or drugs, they must refrain from criminal activity of any description, and they must submit to “constant monitoring” by Correctional Services.
Xako said that at Drakenstein they underwent an extensive drug rehabilitation programme and had been members of the prison youth band, which had performed around South Africa.
On Wednesday, Goldin’s mother, Denise, told the Cape Argus: “We believe it’s too soon, but we trust that they have been fully rehabilitated. We hope they will use this opportunity to reconstruct their lives and not return to their previous ways.”
On April 16, she and the murdered men’s family members commemorated the eighth anniversary of their deaths. At the time, she told the Cape Argus it was “as if time has stood still. We’re carrying on. But it’s something that never leaves you. It’s one of the biggest fallacies to say that ‘time heals’.
“I’ve recently spoken to someone who deals with people who’ve lost children and she explained that as time passes, so more and more the reality sets in. For years it’s the shock and disbelief and non-acceptance, but when time passes you gradually begin to accept it.
“When things happen in your family, any significant occasion or event or milestone, the pain comes hitting back at you,” Goldin said.
She had been greatly heartened by the Naledi Theatre Awards honouring her son by naming the best newcomer category after him.
“It honours his love of the theatre. And the bursaries also offer an incredible opportunity which was denied to Brett. It’s terribly rewarding – a validation of everything Brett was about. I’m delighted about it.
“But at the same time it’s very, very hurtful. Here you are participating in something wonderful, but which is only happening because he’s no longer with us. I’d much rather be watching him audition for it.”
As time passed, she had recently reflected on how her son and her husband Pete – who died nine months after Brett – would have enjoyed the leaps in technological advancement since their deaths.
“So I’ve taught myself to use an iPad and and iPhone – they were both so hooked on technology, so I’m enjoying them on their behalf.”