MOTHERS with drug-addicted children stood up to support Ellen Pakkies during her sentencing in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Friday.
Ellen was found guilty of murdering her tik-addicted child, Adam, on Friday 24 October. Magistrate Amanda von Leeve requested additional witnesses from Ellen's home in Lavender Hill to explain the situation in the family at the time before the murder to inform her sentencing.
Last year, 12 September, Pakkies turned herself in at the Steenberg Police Station, telling officers that she had strangled her son, who she said was addicted to tik and Mandrax.
On Friday, Adrian Samuels, Ellen's defence lawyer, presented Von Leeve with a range of mothers who had also suffered under the abuse of their tik-addicted children.
Vanetia Orgill from Mitchell's Plain took the stand to talk about her son, Troy (27), who had been a drug addict for over ten years.
Troy committed suicide at a friend's home at the start of the year. He had apparently stopped taking drugs for two years before his death, but had developed schizophrenia as a result of his drug abuse.
Orgill told the court that her son had on numerous occasions tried to kill her in his drug rages, and that on one occasion, in his drugged state, he had asked her and his sister for sex. Troy was forced to live outside the family home in a car as he could not be trusted in the house.
Orgill said her son had constantly been in and out of jail for theft.
Ellen's son Adam had likewise been forced to live in a shack in the family's back yard because he constantly stole from the house.
Orgill said her son would often throw rocks at the house, breaking all the windows; Adam had apparently done the same thing.
At one stage, said Orgill, she came close to breaking down, and forced a gun into her son's mouth. It was a family friend, apparently, who convinced her not to pull the trigger that night.
She said that "close to the end", she started wishing that her child would die. She told Von Leeve that she had given Troy a rope to hang himself with.
"People can call me hard and cold because I told my son: 'You pig, why don't you just hang yourself?'." And Troy did end up hanging himself.
Von Leeve asked Orgill what she thought when she first heard about Ellen's murder trial. "I thought, 'I hope she gets away with it,'" she replied.
Von Leeve stopped Samuels from presenting any more mothers, saying that the evidence would be too repetitive. Ellen's sentencing will continue on Thursday.