Andrea Venter’s grieving dad looks forward to seeing fugitive murder suspect in court
Durban - “Now I know where to find you”.
Those were allegedly the chilling words Andrea Venter heard when she answered the 34th call from her former boyfriend, Gerhardus Jansen van Vuuren.
He was brought back to South Africa on Friday from Brazil as a fugitive from justice, wanted for allegedly killing Venter in May 2011.
On Friday, Andrea’s father, Dries confirmed he had been advised that Van Vuuren, one of South Africa’s most wanted fugitives, would arrive back in the country where he will finally stand trial for Andrea's murder after having gone on the run from the law in 2013.
“I have been informed he will be appearing in court on Monday, and I will be there. It's difficult as all the wounds have been cracked open again,” said Dries.
He said his wife, Annetjie, had died of a heart attack in 2016 and would therefore not see their daughter’s alleged killer face justice.
“He (Van Vuuren) said if he can’t have her, then no one could have her. He kept calling and on the 34th call, she answered and he said: ‘Now I know where to find you’,” her father said.
He confirmed that Andrea was the first test tube baby in Rustenburg and was their much-loved miracle baby, for whom he and his wife had waited more than 12 years.
When Van Vuuren was dating their daughter, Dries said in a previous interview with eNCA that Van Vuuren had often threatened to kill both himself and his wife.
Andrea, who was an accountant and was turning 25 in August 2011, had fled her home town of Rustenburg to escape from an increasingly aggressive Van Vuuren.
She had applied for a protection order against him.
She moved to Fourways in Johannesburg, where Van Vuuren allegedly stalked her.
He waited for her to arrive home at the complex where she lived in May 2011.
She was punched in the face with a knuckle duster and stabbed 14 times. A security guard tried to intervene. Andrea died at the scene. The murder was caught on security cameras.
According to reports, Van Vuuren then tried to slash his own throat in a suicide bid, but failed.
He was arrested at the scene and appeared in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court, where police successfully opposed bail twice. When the case was brought before the Johannesburg High Court, he was granted bail.
Four days before the start of his murder trial in May 2013, two years after the murder, Van Vuuren fled the country on a false passport under the name Daniel Joseph Mouton.
A warrant of arrest was issued by Interpol Pretoria to track down the missing suspect.
In August 2013, he was arrested by Brazilian police on a charge of false documentation and was sentenced to four years and four months for passport fraud.
He was inexplicably released in 2016, after serving just two years. He disappeared again, but in June this year was rearrested in Rio de Janeiro.
This was through collaboration between Interpol Pretoria, the National Prosecuting Authority and Brazilian authorities.
On Thursday night, SAPS national spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo said Van Vuuren was to arrive at OR Tambo in Johannesburg on Friday at 1pm.
Police confirmed early on Friday afternoon that Van Vuuren had landed and was being processed through immigration.
SAPS Commissioner General Khehla Sithole said: “This is indeed victory for us as a service. Thank you to the team who didn’t give up, even after years of hard work.
"Our focus is to bring closure to family and friends of the deceased, as well as to ensure that justice is served.”
The Independent on Saturday