Letter from slain wife found after her death

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Copy of cw Adeebah Salie 9236

CAPE ARGUS

Adeebah Salie, centre, Janine Manuels sister, leaves the Mitchells Plain Magistrates Court, where Morn� Manuel was convicted of murder. Photo: Leon Lestrade

Cape Town - Just over a year before she died, Janine Manuel penned a letter to her loved ones. In it, she declared her love for her husband and her family.

Thirteen months later her husband shot and killed her - and the baby she was carrying.

In August 1999 Manuel, 24, said she was writing the letter “before anything should happen”. By September 2000, she was dead.

The letter was an unofficial will.

Manuel’s sister, Adeebah Salie, said she came across the letter in her sister’s belongings after she was shot in the face - in full view of the couple’s four-year-old daughter, Shakeena.

The Mitchells Plain Regional Court found on Friday that Manuel’s husband, Morné Manuel, intentionally killed his wife, and convicted him of murder.

Copy of ca Copy of ca p4 Janine Manuel DONE (38816305)

Janine Manuel Photo: Enver Essop

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Magistrate Nomqondisi Jakuja found that Morné Manuel a police sergeant, killed his wife after an intense argument because he was late for an ultrasound scan. Manuel was seven months pregnant with the couple’s second child at the time. The baby did not survive.

The case had dragged on for more than a decade but Salie said that with Manuel’s conviction, the family finally had closure.

Salie became emotional when she read the letter.

In it, Manuel said she loved Shakeena. “I don’t have much to say but it will go as follows. Shakeena, I love you and (will) always be with you. I haven’t got much but I give to you all my jewellery that’s left.”

Manuel also said that she loved her husband. “Morné, my husband and friend, to you I can only say enjoy life while it lasts and make the best of it. To you I give half of what I own but that’s not much either, but it’s a token of my love for you.”

Manuel also thanked her sister for being the person she could rely on.

“You all made my life something worth living for. And to my mommy (Hilda Hartnick) I will never forget you, for bringing me into this world. You will have my love and respect and with that, 20 percent of what I own. Jerome, you remain by mommy’s side no matter what, I love you.”

Manuel’s brother, Jerome Abrahams, was killed after being held hostage four years ago. His killers were sentenced to 20 years in jail, Salie said.

Twenty years ago, another sibling, Quinton Abrahams, died in a car accident in Mitchells Plain.

The court heard on Friday that Morné Manuel had remarried and was living with his new wife, her two children and Shakeena, now 17, in Heidelberg.

Jakuja ordered that Morné Manuel remain in custody until February 21 for sentencing.

jade.otto@inl.co.za

Cape Argus


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