04/11/2004 00:02 - (SA)
Lephalale - The dentures of an elderly woman who was murdered on a Limpopo farm last year were forced so deep down her throat that a doctor struggled to extract them during the post-mortem.
This fact came to light on Wednesday during the hearing of two men, Jan Medupe, 23, and Oriel Monyebodi, 28, in connection with the murder of Rina du Plessis of Malbourne farm, Tom Burke, in December last year.
Du Plessis was overpowered and murdered by two men when she went out to feed her chickens.
Her husband, Doep, also was overpowered and money was demanded from him, but the attackers fled when he took out a gun. He was seriously injured during the attack.
The attackers finally fled with only R9 in small change.
Had to make cut in throat
Inspector Jurg van Heerden, investigating officer in the case, was testifying at the High Court in Lephalale (formerly Ellisras) on Wednesday before Judge Mahomed Ishmail.
The court was told that during the post-mortem, Dr Charles Kauene spotted an obstruction in Du Plessis's throat and tried to remove it.
Van Heerden, who was present at the post-mortem, said the obstruction was rammed so deep down her throat that the pathologist had to make an incision in her throat.
He then used an instrument to shove the object upwards to remove it through her mouth. Only after he removed it did he recognise it as dentures.
In a statement read in court on Wednesday, captain Herman Lubbe testified that Medupe recounted after his arrest how he put a cloth with an iron bar in Du Plessis's mouth when she started screaming after they overpowered her.
Waited for her husband
Lubbe also testified that Medupe said they tied her hands and feet and hid her behind a bale of lucerne in a shed.
According to evidence, they waited for her husband who was out in the field during the attack on his wife and assaulted him.
André Fourie appears on behalf of the State and M J Mosopa on behalf of the accused. The case continues.
Doep du Plessis died in a car accident earlier this year.
Edited by Iaine Harper