Baby Jordan's father 'broke out crying'

Baby Jordan Leigh Norton’s biological father, Neil Wilson, burst out in tears when he heard that the child had been murdered, a former friend of his told the Cape High Court on Monday.

Arendene Fourie, who is currently teaching English in Italy, said that at the time of the murder in June last year she had been good friends with Wilson, his then girlfriend, Dina Rodrigues, who is now on trial for the murder, and the infant’s mother, Natasha Norton.

She said that when she learned of the death from a close friend on the day it happened, she phone Rodrigues, because she thought Wilson should know and she did not have a new cellphone number for him. She asked Rodrigues to let him know.

Wilson phoned her that afternoon and asked if the news was true. She said it was.

“He then broke out crying and his father took the phone,” she said.

Wilson’s father asked her if it was a hoax, and she said it was not.

The next day she went to visit Rodrigues at her home, but “didn’t discuss much”.
Rodrigues was “quite drawn” and “looking out the window”.

Rodrigues told Fourie she was upset because Wilson had withdrawn from her and had asked her to go home because he wanted to see Natasha Norton that afternoon alone.

Fourie confirmed Wilson’s earlier testimony that it was she who told Rodrigues there was a possibility that Wilson—who had taken a paternity test—was Jordan Leigh’s father.

“She was upset that Neil did not tell her when he found out,” Fourie said.

Asked why she told Rodrigues, she said she herself had called Norton earlier in the week, and Rodrigues, hearing of this, had asked how Norton was doing.

“I couldn’t lie to a good friend,” Fourie said.

After Wilson confirmed the result of the test, Rodrigues told Fourie she would support Wilson whatever he decided, but that if he decided to play an active role in the baby’s life, this support would be only as a friend, not in a relationship.

Asked why Rodrigues said this, Fourie said she thought Rodrigues’s family “would not approve”, because they were Catholic.

Rodrigues and her four co-accused, Zanethemba Gwada, Sipho Mfazwe, Mongezi Bobotyane and a 16-year-old youth—have pleaded not guilty to charges including murder and conspiracy to murder.

Six-month-old Jordan Leigh had her throat slit when the accused, allegedly acting on Rodrigues’s instructions, gained entry to the Norton home under the pretext of delivering a package.—Sapa

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