Family to visit car jack murder town

By Liz HearnshawA BEREAVED family are to visit the South African town where their son was gunned down in cold blood by carjackers.Gary Toleman's twin brother, Michael, and father, Ted, will travel to the small community of Hazyview in the hope their journey may help bring closure after the horrific events of October 13.

By Liz Hearnshaw

A BEREAVED family are to visit the South African town where their son was gunned down in cold blood by carjackers.

Gary Toleman's twin brother, Michael, and father, Ted, will travel to the small community of Hazyview in the hope their journey may help bring closure after the horrific events of October 13.

Mr Toleman, 41, was shot in the mouth by carjackers who dragged him from his pick-up vehicle on a petrol forecourt.


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The appalling crime was witnessed by the former Gedding man's fiancée, Marlette Jordan, who pleaded with the attackers for the couple's lives.

But, one month after the murder, South African police have admitted they are no closer to tracing Mr Toleman's murderers, despite linking the crime to a similar carjacking incident earlier in the year.

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The lack of a breakthrough in the investigation has frustrated Mr Toleman's family, who are well known throughout East Anglian as former powerboat champions.

Speaking from his home in Bacton, near Stowmarket, Michael Toleman said: "Visiting the scene is the only way I can put this to rest. Whilst I can say goodbye to Gary over here, I want to see where it all happened and try and get involved with the police investigation.

"I have never thought anyone would be caught for this, as there is a totally different culture in South Africa and there is no easy way of tracing people - no social security number, no proper address and no electoral role that I know of.

"The police are doing their best with the resources they have, but it is very frustrating."

Following the incident, Mr Toleman's stolen vehicle was later found abandoned. It is thought the father-of-three's four attackers abandoned the pick-up after the immobiliser kicked in.

The investigation into his brutal killing has been transferred to detectives at nearby Nelspruit, a bigger town with a larger police force.

"The family is now trying to get on with things. Life has to go on, and we have to pick ourselves back up and get going again," added Mr Toleman.

"We have been speaking to the British Consulate about the investigation,and would obviously like to see someone caught - but even that would not bring Gary back."

The entire Toleman family moved to South Africa about 12 years ago to run a banana plantation. However, Michael and his wife returned to Suffolk six years ago because of escalating violence in the country.

The family arranged at funeral service at the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Lavenham on October 24, with more than 200 mourners attending to pay their last respects.

Although a memorial service celebrating Gary's life is to be held in South Africa at a later date, no plans have yet been made for a similar commemoration in Suffolk.

liz.hearnshaw@eadt.co.uk

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