Port Elizabeth - In the months before 12-year-old Aaliyah "Angel" Tee was gunned down in cold blood, rumours were flying thick and fast that gangsters were planning to take out her mother and father, the Port Elizabeth High Court heard on Wednesday.
Angel was murdered in June last year when gunmen, posing as cops, forced down the back door of her Barberry Street home in Bethelsdorp.
Nealon Redhouse, 18, and Deon Harmse, 24, are also charged with the attempted murder of Angel's mother Candice and father, Edmund, who was wounded in the attack.
On Wednesday Candice Tee told the court under cross examination that after the shooting of notorious Port Elizabeth gangster Donovan "Staal" Berry in May last year, rumours were going around that her husband was phoning the police constantly. "But that's not true we never made any statements to police," said Tee.
Tee said that at the time they did not trust the police.
Berry was killed in a hail of bullets in what was believed to be an assassination by rival gang members. He was killed in Barberry Street, Bethelsdorp, and was believed to be affiliated to the Spotbouers gang.
Tee had earlier told the court that she had witnessed the shooting and saw three of the alleged shooters. On Wednesday she elaborated how her and her husband had received threats and warning signs about gangsters who wanted to take them out following Staal's shooting.
"My husband, Aaliyah and I were coming from church when a police van was standing across the road at the smart shop. One of their friends came to our house and said uncle why are you phoning the police constantly."
"My husband was very worried. On the Monday someone else came to our house and said 'uncle and Aunty Candice I promise nothing will happen to you,' " Tee told the court.
After receiving assurances Tee said the family did not concern themselves with the shooting that had taken place across from her home.
Defence attorney Jodene Coertzen, said that Redhouse would say that Tee was falsely implicating him because of the rumours that she had heard. But Tee was adamant he was the man who held the gun which killed her daughter.
Also read: Mom recalls Angel's final moments
Defence attorney James Riley, representing Harmse, put it to Tee that she was making a mistake on the identity of Harmse, who claimed that he was at his sister's house on the night of Angel's killing. Tee told the court that she saw Harmse everyday in the street, at the smart shop, or with Redhouse.
She went onto describe a day in February last year when she came face to face with him at the shop, asking him when he planned to stop killing people in cold blood. A fed up Tee explained that she had gone to the shop to buy bread and two Grandpas and had had a conversation with the owner about how tired she was of violence in their area.
"I was leaning on the counter and I was just tired of everything. When I lifted up my head I looked straight into the face of Kwas [Harmse]. I asked him, when do you want to stop with these things, do you think it's right what you are doing to kill people in cold blood. He didn't answer me, I just looked at him with an angry face and I said 'may the Lord bless you'."
Tee was adamant that Harmse was in her house on the day her daughter was shot and killed and said that a voice, possibly his, said the words "skiet my bra" (shoot my brother), prompting Redhouse to shoot. "I'm standing here under oath and If I tell a lie here God in heaven is going to punish me. It's only the truth that will set you free," she said.
The trial continues on Thursday.