Murder family to visit crime scene

UNRESOLVED grief is driving a Suffolk family to make an emotional return to the exact spot in South Africa where four masked gunmen dragged their son from his car and shot him dead.

UNRESOLVED grief is driving a Suffolk family to make an emotional return to the exact spot in South Africa where four masked gunmen dragged their son from his car and shot him dead.

The Evening Star can also reveal that Gary Toleman, 41, the son of former Suffolk motor-racing boss Ted Toleman, was killed in the car jacking on October 13, soon after he'd finally made the decision to return to England to escape an escalating culture of violence.

Gary was shot in front of his fiancee Marlett Jordaan - who later returned to England on the same Virgin flight as an unwitting Sir Richard Branson, who once financially backed Ted in his bid to become the fastest man across the Atlantic in 1985.

The murder happened in Hazyview, two-and-a-half hours away from Johannesburg, and just up the road from the family's banana plantation which they have run for ten years. The killers are still on the run today.

Gary's identical twin Michael from Bacton, and their father Ted - who now lives in Australia - plan to rendezvous at Nelspruik.

Michael said finances ruled out embarking on a crusade like that undertaken by millionaire John Ward in Bury St Edmunds, who turned detective and travelled to Kenya for 11 years to find his daughter Julie's killer.

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But the trip will give Michael and Ted - who now lives in Australia - a chance to quiz South African detectives about progress on the case, as well as say a final goodbye to Gary.

He said: "We will be going out there in two to three months time, to see if we can lay Gary to rest in our minds. I know the exact spot where he was killed.

"We will also try to get involved with the police over there to see what progress has been made.

"I don't think we can blame the police, because I understand the problems they are up against - the culture is so very different from here. If my brother was shot here, things would happen - over there, there is a pile of people being murdered.

"There are too many people in a small country, and many are poverty-stricken. But if South Africa paid out for health services and dole money like the government does here, it would break the country. People come in from Swaziland and Zimbabwe and there are Id cards but no registration system like the electoral role, so how can the police find four people who wore balaclavas in the middle of all that?

"Young men's expectations are not being met by the government. They have to do something to survive, so some turn to crime. Cars are stolen to order and I think that's what happened to Gary. There is no regard for life out there.

"The police have the bullet which killed him, but I don't know if there are any fingerprints."

The British Consulate is now pressurising the police in Nelspruik to progress the case.

Michael may ask police if putting up a reward for any information would help, but added: "I can't see a reward working.

He doubts the authorities will find his twin's murderers, and said: "I'm not being negative. I know how it operates there and I just can't see how they would catch them.

"At the end of the day, even if they telephoned me today to say they'd caught them, I wouldn't necessarily be convinced they had got it right - they might have found a scapegoat - and it still wouldn't bring Gary back."

He said: "I had been telling him and telling him to come home because the violence was escalating and something was going to happen. Then three weeks before it happened, he finally agreed to come back next year. Obviously he never will now."

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