Valentino Grootetjie, 5 Picture: Supplied
Valentino Grootetjie, 5 Picture: Supplied

Man charged with little boy's murder dies of suspected heart attack in Pollsmoor prison

By Monique Duval/Daily Voice Time of article published Jun 3, 2020

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Cape Town – One of the men charged with the murder of five-year-old Valentino Grootetjie has died in Pollsmoor Prison after a suspected heart attack.

John Dickson was arrested during the lockdown and, along with Carlo Hofmeester and Chadwin Isaacs, was set to stand trial for the murder of Valentino, who was killed during a gang shooting in December.

The Lavender Hill boy was hailed a hero when he saved his three-year-old brother, Sanrico, from gang bullets, but died just metres from his parents’ wendy house in Drury Court.

Dad Patrick Kotze, 34, says last week detectives visited the family and informed them that Dickson, who allegedly handed the guns to the shooters, had died.

“They told us that he had a heart attack in Pollsmoor,” says Patrick.

Pollsmoor Prison management confirms that Dickson died on 25 May from natural causes.

While Valentino’s family prepares for the murder trial which is set to be heard at the Western Cape High Court in October, Patrick says they are still trying to find sponsor to help them move.

Mom Romana Grootetjie, 33, told the Daily Voice that the family is continually traumatised as each day she sees the spot where Valentino died.

“We are looking for anyone with a bakkie or a truck that can help us move our wendy house to Atlantis, we can’t live here anymore at the place where Valentino died,” says the father.

If you would like to assist the family, please call community worker Mark Nicholson on 063 567 3739.

Daily Voice

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