Durban - The woman who was mugged outside a Durban nightclub on the night 16-year-old holidaymaker Nathan van Reenen died after he was stabbed in the neck has come forward and is working with the police to identify the teen’s killer.
The 33-year-old Durban resident has not been identified but on Thursday she was interviewed by The Mercury through the police, who forwarded questions to her.
She said she had only found out about the boy’s death on Monday when she heard about it on radio. She had just left a nightclub and had used her cellphone to call a cab when the mugging took place.
I had just made my call when I was approached by a man who started speaking to me, he then grabbed me in a hug,” she said. During this contact he snatched her phone from her back pocket and ran.
Nathan, a pupil from York High School in George, who had been at the same nightspot with a friend, saw what happened. He chased the mugger and caught him but was stabbed in the process.
The woman said she had also chased the mugger but soon lagged behind and gave up.
When her taxi arrived she resigned herself to having lost her phone and went home.
On Thursday, the policeman assigned to the case, Warrant Officer Raven Mundhree of Durban Central, said the woman had reported to the police on Monday. “She is still very traumatised about what happened. She had not known about the stabbing but she has met the other guy who was in the car with Nathan on that night.
“She is currently helping us on the case but we cannot give away too much information as the suspect is still at large,” he said.
The woman had also contacted private investigator Brad Nathanson after he put up a status update on Facebook asking for her to come forward.
Nathanson said she had called him crying.
“She was inconsolable and I had to ask my fiancée to help. We spent a long time on the phone trying to convince her that there was nothing she could have done,” he said.
Nathanson said the woman still felt she was to blame for the teen’s death but she remained incredibly grateful to him.
On Thursday, Nathan’s brother, Luke, said the family was “getting by” but had not met the woman yet.
“We heard that she has come forward. We do not blame her for what happened at all,” he said.
He said he wished his brother had put more thought into his actions on that fateful day.
“My brother should have never chased that guy.
“He didn’t think about what he would put us through or what it would do to us,” he said.
However, Luke said, he would like to one day meet the woman.
“She didn’t kill my brother, Durban took my brother. It is the nature of this place,” he said.