Wednesday, 3 May 2006

Gran's blood streaked the walls

03/05/2006 08:07 - (SA)

Lucille Botha, Die Burger

Cape Town - "How am I going to explain to my children that their granny has been murdered?" asked a grieving Grieta Rossouw on Tuesday.

The distraught mother was speaking after finding the bloodied body of her mother-in-law Christalene Rossouw, 78, in the shower of her house in Saffron Street, Welgemoed.

The peaceful suburb was shattered by the brutal murder on Tuesday, only a day after the body of another widow with a stab wound in her chest was found in her house in Piketberg.

Margaret Engelbrecht, 74, was presumably overpowered outside her house after she took her dog for a walk, and was then dragged into the house, reported Carryn-Ann Nel.

Die Burger learned that bricks were found on the scene of the Welgemoed murder. Rossouw might have been hit with them.

Inspector Bernadine Steyn said the victim had several head wounds.

Arranged flowers for restaurant

Relatives said there was a suspicion she also might have been stabbed with a sharp object, possibly a screwdriver.

Rossouw was a much-loved, sprightly woman who visited the gymnasium daily and ran for exercise. She also arranged flowers weekly for the Oude Welgemoed restaurant and for weddings.

Her daughter-in-law, Grieta, went as usual about 08:45 to help Rossouw with the flowers for the restaurant.

No one responded to her repeated knocking at the front door and garage door, so she walked round the house

"I nearly fainted from fright when I first saw her purse lying on the floor, and then saw that the kitchen table was overturned.

It was the last thing I expected and I knew at once something was badly wrong," she said with tears in her eyes.

She went to call Rossouw's neighbour and they found her body in the shower. She was fully clothed.

Had been attacked before

Grieta said there were streaks of blood along the wall and in the dining room.

As far as the family could determine, nothing had been stolen except for a few rands from Rossouw's purse.

Rossouw had been overpowered in her house before, three years ago.

She was the plaintiff in a criminal case in which only one of her previous attackers was appearing. Another suspect is still on the loose.

A police officer said he did not think the two attacks were related.

Rossouw's son, Johan, has appealed to President Thabo Mbeki to prevent similar attacks.

"We seek as much security at our houses as he (Mbeki) has at his."

"This house looks like a fort, but they still managed to murder an innocent woman for a few rands," he said angrily.

His sister, Helene Visser of Stellenbosch, was inconsolable, with tears streaming.

"Who has the right to do something like this? Does one have to march up to parliament and throw oneself down there before something gets done? I'm absolutely furious. We"re all furious."

Hester Allison of the Oude Welgemoed restaurant said: "She was filled only with beauty - now our most-beautiful flower has been taken from us."

Rossouw is survived by four children, a foster child and six grandchildren. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

Suspect she knew her attackers

At Piketberg, Engelbrecht"s attackers were presumably lying in wait at her house.

Her son-in-law, Michael Stond, said the family were still in the dark about what exactly had happened.

"My 19-year-old son found her body. She lived alone. Forensic tests are now being done," he said.

A police officer said her cellphone was missing.

"We suspect she knew the attackers, because her house wasn"t turned upside down nor were doors broken open," he said.

CapeTalk radio station has arranged a silent protest march against the high crime levels in the Mother City.

The march will begin at 11:00 on Thursday at the Good Hope centre and head for the town hall.


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