On the sixth anniversary of the brutal rape and murder of British national Christine Robinson in Limpopo, a Facebook post appealing for public assistance to find her suspected killer, led to his arrest.
Robinson, 59, a retired teacher who owned a game lodge, was allegedly attacked by her gardener and general worker Andrew Ndlovu, on July 30, 2014.
According to the Facebook post, Ndlovu had returned to South Africa several times after he fled to Zimbabwe following the attack.
Robinson’s niece Lehanne Sergison, who lives in London, with the help of South African independent crime expert Ian Cameron, never stopped searching for her aunt’s killer.
Cameron, who visited the scene a few days after the murder and usually speaks to Sergison around the anniversary of her aunt’s death, said this year, on July 30, he called her in London and asked for any recent information and pictures she had on the case.
Wanting to get more clarity on the case and to apply some pressure for the crime to be resolved, Cameron posted the information on Facebook.
“Interpol did not do much. The South African Police Services on the ground at the time of the investigation were fantastic, but after that the case just died. The British government also seemed not to have done much,” said Cameron.
Six hours after the pictures were posted, Cameron received a tip-off.
“A few hours later someone contacted me and said ‘please call me, I know where this man is’. I then followed up the lead and true as Bob it was him, and we then arrested him.”
Cameron said Ndlovu was transported to Thabazimbi, Limpopo, the next day, where he appeared in court.
“I am glad that we have been able to assist Christine’s family to have some form of closure. The law must now take its course for justice to finally be served.”
Cameron believes that while the case is still ongoing, the family now feel that some form of justice was starting to be served.
“You can imagine waiting, day after day, year after year, and not getting any form of positive feedback, and the impact that might have on you,” he said.
Sergison said she never thought the day of the alleged killer’s arrest would come.
“All the emotions came back like the day I found out Christine was murdered. I’m still apprehensive, there is still a long way to go.”
She said after her aunt died, she read a quote by Lois McMaster Bujold: “The dead cannot cry out for justice; it is a duty of the living to do so for them,” which motivated her to seek justice.
“I believe in this and felt I had to do everything I could to try to get justice,” she said.
Sergison said she loved Robinson dearly and described her aunt as a kind, humble and genuine woman who always saw the good in people.
“She was an adventurer but also a widow of 59. She was loved by many people all over the world. Teaching was in her DNA. Yet someone abused her dignity, attacked her and stole her future.
“There will never be closure, his arrest will not erase what has happened or bring back Christine and, if he is guilty, he should pay for his crime.
“His future lies with the judiciary. I cannot influence the outcome, I can only hope that justice prevails,” said Sergison.
Her advice to others who are still seeking justice is: “Never give up hope, people always let their guard down. Always fight, we have an obligation as per Bujold’s quote.”
She thanked Cameron, among others, for all he had done and would “forever be indebted to him”.
She described the person who alerted them to Ndlovu’s whereabouts as brave and a great credit to SA.
Limpopo National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi confirmed that Ndlovu had been arrested in Brixton, Johannesburg, on suspicion of murder.
Malabi-Dzhangi said Ndlovu made his first court appearance on July 30 and was scheduled to appear last Thursday for a bail hearing. “Through his defence (Legal Aid), the accused abandoned bail,” she said.
The case was adjourned to October for further investigation and Ndlovu was remanded in custody.