Brother's search for justice

THE twin brother of a former powerboat champion brutally murdered in South Africa has vowed to prove the police investigation into the killing was flawed.

By Dave Gooderham>

THE twin brother of a former powerboat champion brutally murdered in South Africa has vowed to prove the police investigation into the killing was flawed.

Michael Toleman said he was convinced detectives had not done enough to find his brother's killers - four years after carjackers murdered his twin, Gary, as his fiancée begged for his life in a garage forecourt in South Africa.

Speaking on the day of their 46th birthday, Mr Toleman, who lives in Drinkstone, near Bury St Edmunds, conceded that the gang of four men, wanted for the crime, would probably never be brought to justice.

But he said: “I don't think for one minute there was a full police investigation or that they did a proper job. The last four years have been incredibly frustrating, we are not asking for a lot - we just want answers.

“A day like today, when we both celebrate our birthdays, or Christmas, is very hard. We used to open our presents together and we can't do that anymore.

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“I have gone to his graveside and sent him my wishes and let him know I am thinking of him. We have to try to get on with our lives but he is always in the back of our minds.

“These murderers took my brother's life but it just seems like when someone gets murdered abroad, there is less chance of finding the killers.”

Father-of-three Gary Toleman, 41, formerly from Gedding, near Stowmarket, was gunned down and killed in a car jacking in the small community of Hazy View in October 2003.

Police said at the time Mr Toleman was dragged from his pick-up vehicle by a gang of four men and shot dead in front of his terrified fiancée, Marlett Jordaan.

The Toleman twins both became powerboat racing champions, following in the footsteps of their father Ted, 69, who also founded the Toleman Formula One racing team and joined Sir Richard Branson in his 1985 bid to make the fastest Atlantic crossing.

Gary Toleman had moved to South Africa to run a banana plantation with his brother and father but most of the family left the country because of the escalating violence, with Michael returning to Suffolk.

Now Michael, who has his father's backing, is campaigning to get access to the police files on the murder investigation.

He said: “As far as we are concerned, the police have closed the case and we don't know what to do. We want to get hold of all the documents from Hazy View police force but it is such a struggle speaking to the right people.

“You would think the South African police or even the British Embassy would be able to give us the details but they don't seem to know what we are talking about.

“I just want to see their files on the case to make sure they did all they could do - that isn't too much to ask.”

Despite repeated calls, no one from the Hazy View police force was available for comment.

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