The hand that pulled the trigger and killed Bergvliet resident Jane van Zyl toyed with a red-beaded crucifix in the Western Cape High Court, the occasional sound of Gershwin Hartzenberg’s ankle chains scraping against the floor.
Across a packed courtroom Van Zyl’s widower, Smiley, clasped his hands, his head bowed as Judge Siraj Desai delivered a 35-page judgment yesterday.
He found Hartzenberg guilty on all five charges – including murder and two charges of armed robbery.
Judge Desai dismissed most of Hartzenberg’s testimony as “unlikely” and “unacceptable”.
“He can provide us with no acceptable reason as to why his fingerprints were on the cars,” said Judge Desai, referring to Hartzenberg’s defence that his fingerprints could have been on both Van Zyl’s vehicle and that of another woman, Linda Heeger, because he sold them flowers when he worked as a street vendor. Heeger was also robbed but was uninjured.
Hartzenberg has also been found guilty of possessing a firearm and of being in unlawful possession of ammunition.
After judgment, an emotional Van Zyl seemed visibly shaken, but said: “I got what I fought for for two and a half years. Now I am just waiting for sentencing.
“I feel I can get closure. You can’t harp on the past all your life, but at the same time, you can’t get on with your life until you have all the facts.”
Asked whether he would be able to forgive Hartzenberg, Van Zyl said: “Forgive him? Never. Forget? Never.”
Sentencing has been postponed to September 22.