Mom killed in robbery

Lauren Lee Dryden, 31, was shot dead in Epping.

Lauren Lee Dryden’s two young children will be without their mother this Christmas – she was shot dead by a masked robber while waiting for a lift home on Friday November 20.

The killing of Ms Dryden, 31, outside the Epping factory where she worked with her cousin, Monique Ruiters, came just five days before the launch of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign.

Bonteheuwel ward councillor Angus McKenzie said Ms Dryden and Ms Ruiters had been waiting for an e-hailing taxi, shortly after 6pm, when a masked man demanded Ms Dryden’s cellphone.

The two women ran as he produced a gun. Ms Ruiters heard a shot, and when she looked back, she saw her cousin had been hitin the back. The bullet penetrated her heart.

Ms Dryden was declared dead at the scene, according to family member Deborah Ruiters.

According to JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, Fernando Isaacs, 36, was arrested on the same day for Ms Dryden’s killing.

Provincial police spokeswoman, Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana, said he had appeared in the Bishop Lavis Magistrate’s Court on Monday November 23, on a charge of murder. The case was postponed until Monday November 30.

Ms Dryden’s funeral was held on Friday November 27 at the Church of the Resurrection in Bonteheuwel and she was buried at the Gloria Memorial graveyard in Ottery.

Deborah Ruiters said the family was in shock and Ms Dryden’s children, Autumn, 2, and Thiago, 5, constantly asked where their mom was.

“I can’t explain how we feel. We are sad and we are upset. I hope that justice is served,” she said.

Sonke Gender Justice spokesman, Given Sigauqwe, said government needed to urgently implement a national strategic plan to fight gender violence.

“This step should not be delayed to ensure that the country responds adequately and expeditiously,” he said.