Saturday, 16 April 2005

Two slain in brutal housebreaking attacks

Anil Singh

April 12 2005 at 06:59PM

Two people have been killed in separate attacks during home robberies in the space of two hours in Pinetown.

In the first attack, while Petrus van Rooyen was laying a charge of theft at a local police station on Monday, his wife, Catherine Elizabeth Ferreira, was being brutally attacked and stabbed with a sharp instrument.

When Van Rooyen returned to his caravan on a smallholding he discovered his wife's bloody body. The caravan had been ransacked and a DVD player, car radio and an angle grinder had been stolen.

A distraught Van Rooyen, a mechanic, said on Tuesday that while he was at the Hillcrest police station he received a desperate call from Ferreira to say that a group of men were attempting to rob her.

"When I rushed back to the farm, I found her dead inside the caravan. Earlier on Monday she called me while I was at the workshop to say there was a group of men acting very suspiciously near the caravan. I went to the farm and chased them and they fled into the bushes.

"I then went to the Hillcrest police station to lay a complaint and while I was there I received another call from her to say that the thieves were back. I rushed to the farm but they had already killed her."

Van Rooyen said that last Friday while they were out thieves had broken into their caravan and stolen blankets, a kettle and a microwave oven.

Van Rooyen and Ferreira had lived together for the last three years. She had two children from a previous marriage.

Two hours after Ferreira was killed police were called to Oak Road, Pinetown, after a neighbour discovered the bludgeoned body of Fredrick Esterhuizen, 48.

Police said Esterhuizen, who lived alone in a house, was confronted by three men who tied his hands and legs with nylon rope and then put him in the spare bedroom. He was then repeatedly hit on the head with a baseball bat.

Investigators from the Durban Serious Violent Crime Unit said the house had been vandalised.

It appears that the killers had packed a large quantity of goods into the garage and were in the process of stealing Esterhuizen's car when they fled. Police suspect that they might have been disturbed or were unable to start the car.

Police said it seemed that Esterhuizen put up a tremendous fight with his attackers as there was blood all over the house. He had more then 10 stab wounds.

Neighbours declined to speak about the killing, only saying that Esterhuizen lived alone. He was divorced and had two children.

This article was originally published on page 1 of Daily News on April 12, 2005

Source: IOL

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