Family's frustration year on from murder

EXCLUSIVEBy Dave GooderhamTHE twin brother of a man who was brutally murdered in South Africa fears police have abandoned their investigation and the killers will never be caught.

EXCLUSIVE

By Dave Gooderham

THE twin brother of a man who was brutally murdered in South Africa fears police have abandoned their investigation and the killers will never be caught.

Exactly a year after the murder of East Anglian powerboat champion Gary Toleman, his brother Michael said he had been so frustrated by the handling of the investigation that he had considered flying there with his father, Ted, to sort it out.

Gary Toleman, a 41-year-old father-of-three, was shot in the mouth by a gang of carjackers as he bought petrol in the small community of Hazyview on October 13 last year.

Seconds before the horrific killing his fiancée, Marlett Jordaan, pleaded for the robbers to spare his life.

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The months since Gary Toleman's murder has heaped more misery on the family, who complained they had never received information from authorities on their investigation.

Michael Toleman, who lives in Drinkstone, near Bury St Edmunds, said: “At the end of the day, we know nothing can bring Gary back, but the whole situation has been so frustrating.

“I have my doubts whether the police are still investigating - the whole thing has just been a nightmare. We have never received any phone calls from South African detectives and it makes the anniversary even harder.

“We want the murderers found and made to pay for their crimes as they might well do this kind of thing again, if they haven't done so already.

“My dad and I even thought about going to South Africa and trying to sort it out. We thought this would be a way of getting answers, but we were worried about confronting the police force out there and in the end we decided against this approach, believing it could be more trouble than it was worth.”

But the man in charge of finding Gary Toleman's killers said he was still confident that they would be brought to justice.

Inspector Raymond Mxumalo said: “We are still investigating the case and we are confident we will find the murderers.

“We did put a $50,000 reward for information and it was very frustrating that no-one came forward.

“Forensic tests have also failed to give us any leads, but we found gun cartridges at the scene and we will be using them to see if there are any connections with people arrested with firearms in South Africa.”

The past 12 months for the Toleman family have been littered with false hopes after police chiefs claimed they were close to finding the killers, only for them to say later that they were looking for fresh leads.

Michael Toleman said: “There have been so many unanswered questions and we need to get it sorted somehow.

“I don't know if these men will ever be caught, but we want some justice. It has been very difficult to get on with our lives having what happened in the back of our minds.

“It has been a very frustrating time and still a very sad time - it is very hard to let it go. I have never thought about giving up and moving on, but I am now looking for help as I have no idea where to go from now.”

A former powerboat champion, Gary Toleman moved to South Africa from his home in Gedding, near Stowmarket, to run a banana plantation with his brother and father.

Although most of the family later left South Africa - including Gary Toleman's ex-wife and their children, who now live in Colchester - he remained there and met Marlett Jordaan, who later became his fiancée.

Michael Toleman said: “We were very close and spoke to each other all the time. I was hoping to have more of a future with him. My father was absolutely devastated and is still very bitter about the whole thing.

“Marlett is also very upset and is trying to move on with her life, as she needs to. She has moved away from where they lived together into a smaller flat - although she has kept the dog they had together.”

Michael Toleman added he was contemplating legal action against the South African authorities as he continued his quest for justice.

“I have seriously considered taking some legal action, but there are obvious financial difficulties to this. If I could find someone to help with funding it, I would have no hesitation in going all the way,” he said.

“I feel the South African Embassy have been very vague and it seems like they don't do anything unless you phone them up.

“I have never heard anything. I have always had to chase them to get any calls back, but I have never heard anything or spoken to any detectives.”

dave.gooderham@eadt.co.uk

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