Port Elizabeth - The mother of 12-year-old slain Aaliyah "Angel" Tee broke down in tears in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Wednesday as she recalled the traumatic moment a gunshot went off moments after her daughter had pleaded with gunmen not to shoot them.
Candice Tee took to the stand for the second day in a bulletproof vest to testify in the murder trial involving Nealon Redhouse, 18, and Deon Harmse, 24, who allegedly gunned down Grade 7 year pupil Angel on June 7 last year.
Since the incident, the Tee family has entered the National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) witness protection programme and once again the court was lined with members from the police's Tactical Response Team (TRT).
Tee said that after the intruders gained entry to the backdoor she heard several shots go off and she ran to the bathroom with her daughter. At this stage her husband Edmund was left at the backdoor.
Tee said she immediately opened the bathroom window and started screaming for help but her calls fell on deaf ears. The next moment the mother said she turned around and saw Redhouse and Harmse standing three steps away in front of the washing machine in the bathroom.
Tee told the court how she saw how Angel put her hands together in prayer and started to beg the two men "please don't shoot, please don't shoot".
After that Tee said she grabbed Angel and they crouched down together at the toilet seat. Before kneeling down she said she saw Redhouse pointing a firearm at them. "I said Lord help us and at the same time I heard one of them saying 'skiet my bra' (shoot my brother)."
Just seconds afterwards, Tee said she heard another voice saying "fok jou aunty" (f...ck you anty).
"We were kneeling at the toilet seat and I heard a shot go off and I passed out. Before I passed out, I heard a bomb sound against my head and warm blood was flowing over me," the mother recalled.
After Tee regained consciousness she said she tried to lift her head but was not sure if she had been shot. She then turned to the side and saw Angel lying on the ground. "I looked on my left and saw Aaliyah lying on the ground, I was on my knees. I took my hand and saw that there was blood coming out of her ear. I said 'take her Lord, she is yours'."
At this stage Tee broke down in tears and court had to adjourn for her to compose herself. At some point, court had to adjourn again when the interpreter also became emotional.
Continuing with the harrowing testimony, Tee said that after sitting and praying next to Angel's lifeless body, she crawled to her husband Edmund who was lying injured at the backdoor. Tee went back to the bathroom and kneeled before her daughter on the bathroom floor. "I touched her and I could feel that she was starting to get cold, I saw how the blood was flowing out of her body."
Redhouse and Harmse have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, attempted murder, housebreaking with intent to commit murder and unlicensed possession of firearm and ammunition.