Three years after a Brakpan woman shot and killed her husband, who was also her adoptive dad, in their home, she’s been jailed for an effective 20 years by the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
It was a rare family saga that caused public consternation.
Fifty-eight-year-old Chris van Oudtshoorn, an electrical engineer from Brakpan, East Rand, and his wife, Jorina, had been struggling to conceive when they adopted Cathy as a three-year-old.
Seemingly the Van Oudtshoorns were a dead ordinary and happy family. Very soon the couple would also have two healthy baby girls of their own whom they named Anita and Maryna.
But when Chris and Jorina got divorced, Chris married Cathy.
And in 2016 Cathy shot Chris.
For Anita Brits (28) this nasty chapter of her and her sister’s lives finally ended when Cathy (32) was sent to prison for 20 years on Tuesday for murdering their father. He was shot in the head on April 11, 2016. Cathy alleged there’d been a robbery at the house.
For a long time, Anita says, she had no answers to her questions – until Cathy, who’s in the meantime become pregnant with her second child, finally spilt the beans and admitted her guilt.
“She admitted she’d killed him because she was involved in an extramarital affair,” Anita told YOU on Wednesday
“I’m very happy that it’s over now because the trial opened up all the old wounds again. I was feeling sorry for her child; she’s messed up the life of another child.
“But I didn’t feel sorry for her. Even if she’d been given the death sentence, it wouldn’t bring back my father.”
Anita says she and her sister, Maryna Roets (27), were in court when Cathy was sentenced.
Maryna says Cathy, who stood trial on charges including the premeditated murder of Chris and the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, was sentenced to a total of 45 years, but will serve just 20 of those.
“I don’t know how to feel; it’s still a jumble of emotions.”
YOU reported earlier that Cathy was 18 years old when Chris and Jorina separated. When Cathy was 20 she fell pregnant and moved into the house with Chris, who was concerned about her.
However, their relationship took a romantic turn and Cathy’s child was barely a year old when Chris married her.
Then, in 2016, she shot and killed him, pretending it was a robbery and even involving Jorina (now 58) in the crime.
Lips are sealed
Jorina had been behind bars for just more than a year for obstruction of justice when she was released and placed under house arrest. In terms of her parole conditions she’s not allowed to talk to the media.
But Maryna says her mom testified in court that she’d helped Cathy to make the murder scene look like a robbery because she was afraid Cathy would kill her too.
The two sisters say they’ve forgiven their mom for her part in the crime and accept that she became involved in the mess because of Cathy..
“Cathy never looked sorry to me in court,” Anita says when asked whether Cathy has any remorse about the murder. “I honestly didn’t believe she was capable of doing a thing like this.”
Anita says her life has been hell for the past three years. Not only did she have to come to terms with the death of her father, but in the meantime her husband, Armand, who was a key witness in the case, was killed in a car accident. She and Armand were the first people on the scene of her dad’s murder.
Chris was sitting on his couch watching television when he was shot in the head.
Jorina, who was visiting Cathy at the time, apparently was instructed afterwards to throw out the contents of all the cupboards to make it look as if the house had been robbed.
“One day I’ll probably be able to forgive Cathy, because that’s what the Bible commands, but forget? Never. I’ll never talk to her again; I’ll never visit her in jail,” Anita says.