Johannesburg - It may have happened nine months ago, but the events of July 7 last year still bring tears streaming down Jayde Burger’s face.
That was the day Burger, 32, alleges her now estranged husband Juan – a former SAPS Riot Unit policeman in Soweto and now a businessman – tried to kill them both in a fit of rage with a hand grenade.
With the pretrial due on Friday at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court, Burger said she believed she lived so she could tell the tale, and hoped justice would prevail.
Speaking to The Star, she said: “The previous day he had gone out and I could see he wasn’t in the right frame of mind when he got home. He woke me up at around 5.15am. I knew something was wrong, but I went back to sleep.”
When he woke, the couple argued because he had been out all weekend, she said.
“We had premarital problems due to a number of reasons, and that particular day he wanted to know if I wanted to stay in the relationship.
“I wasn’t ready to speak to him and so I told him when I was ready I would, but he wouldn’t let me out of the house,” she alleged.
During the argument, Burger said the couple, who had been together for eight years but married for 18 months, struggled in the bathroom of their home in Bassonia.
Burger said their domestic worker pleaded with him to release her from his grip and after about 15 minutes, he got up from on top of her.
“Our domestic worker went outside to call my mom (Gail Ferreira), I grabbed my keys and my bag, ran downstairs and almost got out of the house, but he picked me up from behind and carried me up the stairs,” she said.
He allegedly carried her to their spare bedroom, sat on top of her on the bed, and pulled out the hand grenade.
Her 39-year-old husband started praying to God for forgiveness.
Burger said she had a panic attack during the scuffle.
“He got a fright and got off me, but was holding the safety lever; the pin was on the bed. He tried to give me water, saying he’d never do anything to harm me and that he just wanted to talk to me… I was in total shock. Luckily for me, my mom walked in.”
Ferreira said it took her 45 minutes to convince her son-in-law that she needed medical attention.
“He said on more than one occasion that if he could not have her, no one would. He was very controlling,” Ferreira said.
Burger bemoaned the slow wheels of justice, alleging that when she first opened a case after the incident at Mondeor police station, she was initially not given a case number.
“I think it was because he was a policeman and knows many people, even in the flying squad,” she said.
He was arrested on July 12 and given R10 000 bail.
Johannesburg Central police cluster spokeswoman Rebecca Bila confirmed on Monday that Juan would appear in court over charges of unauthorised importation, supply or possession of explosives or incendiary devices or part thereof.
Calls and text messages to Juan went unanswered.