Morné Nortier is angry. And disappointed. And he realizes all too well that nothing will bring back his beloved daughter.
“If you are looking for fairness, you will not find it in the South African legal system. That’s for sure. Unfortunately, justice is not done,” this father said on Friday.
Nortier’s daughter, Marilize, died in a car accident in 2019.
Sydney Berry, the driver of the BMW in which Marilize was at the time when the car ended up in a ditch in the early hours of the morning, was sentenced to three years of corrective supervision on Thursday for his part in her death.
Nortier himself is unsure which sentence – if any – could bring some relief.
“One year? Ten years? I do not know. Nothing is going to bring her back. I will never be satisfied because she is dead.”
Marilize, who was in matric at the time, died on 22 September 2019 when the BMW in which she was a passenger overturned in the early hours of the morning outside Oudtshoorn and landed in a ditch.
At the time, a passer-by came across the scene early in the morning and helped Berry. However, Berry did not say a word about Marilize.
The young girl was not found in the car wreck until later, apparently hours after the accident happened. She was still strapped into her seat. The post-mortem examination found that she had sustained multiple injuries in the accident but died of drowning.
The 25-year-old Berry was found guilty of culpable homicide in May this year. He was found not guilty on charges of reckless and negligent driving and failure to render assistance at the scene of an accident.
RNews reported earlier that the magistrate finally found that there was not enough evidence that Berry failed to provide assistance to Marilize at the scene, as according to legislation someone can only provide assistance to an injured person and not to someone who is already dead. .
Nortier says he does respect the public prosecutor and magistrate for what they were able to accomplish with the little evidence that was brought before the court.
Berry does not remember anything about the accident and there were no eyewitnesses who saw the accident happen. The court could therefore not come to any conclusion about how the BMW ended up in the watery grave.