Luke Tibbetts family: We are still hurting

Luke’s mother is reportedly struggling to accept her three-year-old son is gone.

FILE: Luke Tibbetts was hit by a stray bullet last year. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The family of Luke Tibbets on Monday said they were still struggling to accept that the three-year-old was gone.

Lindray Khakhu appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrates Court on 18 charges, including the murder of Tibbetts, after a stray bullet hit the little boy last year.

The accused allegedly fired more than 20 shots into the air in a suspected gang-related incident.

Tibbets died in hospital on 8 August 2014 after being on life support for six days.

Khakhu pleaded not guilty to the 18 charges against him.

The little boy's uncle, Llewellyn Valentine, said his mother, Candice Tibbets was struggling.

"She's very depressed and going through a lot of emotion. She doesn't want to face the case again. She said she didn't want to go through the second nightmare."

He said the family now had to relive the trauma in court each day.

"And you can see, honestly, we are still hurting about the whole situation. Is he coming out free, or is he going to prison? It won't bring Luke back."

The case has been postponed to Wednesday.