'The blood just started running over my fingers'

A teenager broke down in the Ramsgate High Court on Thursday as she recounted how her friend from Carletonville, Kalin Jooste, bled to death after being attacked in December last year.

Earlier, the two men accused of murdering 16-year-old Jooste pleaded not guilty.

In a statement read out to the court, Thembisile Pilisi blamed his co-accused, Vukile “Chico” Sinama, for the December 20 murder.

Jooste and Zelne Maritz, then also 16, were attacked in the early hours on their way home from a popular Margate nightclub. Giving evidence, Maritz said: “I heard something on my left.
There was a man next to me.”

She and the man began struggling over her handbag. He ordered her to hand over her cellphone. She was stabbed in the left arm, but it was only after she was punched in the mouth that she let go of the handbag.

She told the court that during the struggle she did not see Jooste, but detected movement behind her. After her attacker fled she bent down to pick up her belongings that had fallen to the ground.

“I asked Kalin if she was okay. She didn’t answer and, as I turned and looked, she then fell on one of the stairs,” said a tearful Maritz.

The court adjourned for 15 minutes when Maritz broke down. When the court resumed, she described how she desperately tried to stop Jooste from bleeding to death.

“I saw lots of blood. I talked to her, but she would not answer me. She was unconscious. Then I saw the hole in her neck. Then I pushed my fingers into the wound to try and stop the bleeding, but the blood just started running over my fingers.”

Maritz used her jacket in a bid to stop her friend from bleeding to death.

Before Maritz’s evidence, Margate district surgeon Dr Pierre du Plessis said Jooste had suffered a 6cm wound. She was stabbed in the neck with such force that the blade penetrated her lungs. He said Jooste would have been conscious for about three minutes. Six minutes after losing consciousness, she would have died.

The attackers made off with a purse and a cellphone.

In January, a Port Shepstone detective appeared in court after Sinama escaped from the consulting room of the district surgeon.

The escape happened shortly after Sinama had appeared in the Ramsgate Magistrate’s Court on charges of murder, attempted murder and robbery. He was sent to the district surgeon to undergo DNA and HIV tests. He received a three-year sentence for escaping.

The Jooste family was not at the Ramsgate High Court on Thursday.—Sapa

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