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Vredenburg, Western Cape - A grieving sister said that her brother died a painful death after being beaten up by teen thugs over R1.
Michael “Tjara” Koopman suffered for days with internal injuries after the brutal assault, allegedly at the hands of teen gangsters.
His heartbroken sister, Helena Koopman, said the young attackers are all still roaming their neighbourhood since her brother’s death.
She said one of the teen attackers has admitted to assaulting Koopman, 45.
Helena said a 16-year-old has told them he was part of the attack in Vredenburg.
“They [teens] wanted money from him, but he didn’t have any,” said Helena.
“I believe this is what cost him his life.”
She said Michael was targeted on two occasions by the group of youngsters who have been terrorising the neighbourhood.
And she believes they saw Michael as a soft target who would not fight back.
The second attack, which the family believe led to Michael’s death, happened on February 27.
Helena said her brother was clearly in pain when she spoke to him hours after the assault.
“He complained about his bladder being extremely painful,” she explained.
“Michael then told us that the laaities (teens) attacked him because they were looking for a rand.
“When he told them that he did not have money, they kicked the wind out of him.”
She said Michael explained that even though he was being attacked by kids, he dared not fight back.
“He told me he did not want to risk fighting back because then the bigger youngsters are called to really beat you up,” she told the Daily Voice.
Helena said the following day she returned from work to find her brother writhing in excruciating pain.
She immediately contacted emergency services and an ambulance transported Michael to the Vredenburg hospital.
From there he was transferred to the Somerset Hospital.
Michael’s grief-stricken father, Gert Koopman, said he called the hospital to check up on his son.
“One of the sisters told me he was fine,” the 63-year-old dad said.
The next day Michael died.
Angelique Jordaan, spokesman for the Western Cape’s Health Service, said Michael was seen by a trauma doctor and urologist after he was admitted.
“He was admitted to the urology ward on March 1 for further treatment,” explained Jordaan.
“But during a routine check the patient was found to have passed away.”
And while Michael’s family are upset that his killers are still free, cops said that they are looking into the matter.
Police say that an inquest docket was opened and is under investigation.
“On March 7, the post-mortem was done,” Captain FC van Wyk said.
“However the results are not available as yet.
“As soon as the postmortem results becomes available, this office will make a decision on the investigation of the case.”
But this is cold comfort for Gert and Helena, who say the mother of one of the teen thugs made him apologise for being part of the gang that attacked Michael.
“After Tjara passed away, the mother of a 16-year-old brought him here to ask our forgiveness,” Helena told the Daily Voice.
“We want to know why police have not arrested anyone for my brother’s death.”