Mother of murdered Gabriela Kabrins Alban, Doris Weitz is consoled by her husband, Alexander Williams after the sentencing of Diego Novella to 20 years in prison. Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - The family of Gabriela Kabrins Alban, murdered by her Guatemalan boyfriend Diego Novella in Cape Town, said they could finally begin to mourn their daughter after her killer was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment.

“I was hoping for him to get life. I am glad the judge made an upward departure, but like I said in my testimony, I have been sentenced to life and I had wished that he had gotten the same sentence,” said Alban’s emotional mother, Doris Weitz.

The family praised the South African justice system and Western Cape High Court Judge Vincent Saldanha on how the three-year-long trial proceeded.

Her stepfather, Alexander William, who is also a practising judge, said it was important to note that the crime was not committed by a South African.

Weitz said the family travelled to Cape Town about 11 times for the trial.

“This has not allowed us to grieve, as we are here all the time,” she said.

Linda Kabrins, her stepmother, said despite the verdict, nothing was going to bring Alban back.

Linda Kabrins, Gabriela Kabrins Alban's stepmother talking next to her husband, Alan's dad, Howdy Kabrins. VIdeo: Zodidi Dano/Cape Argus

Alban was found dead at a Camps Bay hotel on July 29, 2015 while the couple were on holiday.

She had a hair iron between her legs, close to her private parts, and Novella had defecated on her body and left a piece of paper on her chest, on which was written “piece of s**t”.

He was convicted in the Western Cape High Court on June, 28.

It is Novella’s version that he took various substances including dagga, cannabis oil and sceletium before he attacked Albans.

Judge Saldanha said Novella did not show remorse or take sole responsibility for the crime he committed.

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Cape Argus