Mother finds closure after drunk driver convicted for killing her son in 2017

The mother of a 26-year-old man who was killed by a drunk driver in 2017 says she can finally begin to find closure now that the perpetrator has been convicted.

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JOHANNESBURG - The mother of a 26-year-old man who was killed by a drunk driver in 2017 says she can finally begin to find closure now that the perpetrator has been convicted.

Ruan Coen and his fiancée, 25-year-old Jessika Kennedy, were driving home to Pretoria from White River when Andrew Kagiso Malele smashed into their vehicle on 23 December 2017. Coen and Kennedy were both killed.

On Monday, Malele pleaded guilty to culpable homicide and driving under the influence.

He made his first appearance in the dock last year, on the back of pressure from AfriForum’s private prosecution unit. The lobby group got involved after Coen’s mother, Ursula Kors, reached out when investigations stalled.

Sentencing proceedings are scheduled for July.

“There’s a sincere gratitude that at last, we can now begin to find closure. And even though we have forgiven what’s happened, we firmly believe that justice has to be served and that one has to answer for the choices you’ve made in life,” Kors said.

She said that she was grateful for the work of AfriForum and of Advocate Gerrie Nel, who heads up the private prosecutions unit.