Image: Shattered: A distraught Melissa Breet, right, is comforted by a friend shortly after learning that her mother had been strangled by intruders.
January 06 2007 at 11:39AM
A community has been shattered by the brutal murder of a loving mother and volunteer worker.
Martie Breet, 49, a short-term insurance broker and a volunteer at Eeufees Huis for the mentally disabled, was found by her son early on Friday morning, hog-tied and strangled, hidden in a duvet underneath her bed in her Kilner Park home.
It is believed that her killers attacked her after she woke up to them breaking a garage window and found them in the passage of the family's Abilia Street house.
Breet's house was the third house in Abilia Street broken into early on Friday morning.
'I just cannot believe that my mom is dead'
Her murder was the third such botched house robbery/killing to occur in Pretoria this week.
Describing his mother, Breet's son Demitri said she was an outgoing person who loved life and lived it to its fullest.
"I just cannot believe that my mom is dead. I just cannot believe it," he said while describing how he had found his mother's body in her ransacked bedroom after coming home from night shift at 4am.
He said his mother, who would always go out of her way to help people she knew as well as complete strangers, always had a smile on her face.
Breet's daughter Melissa said the family was in shock and battling to come to terms with what had happened. "It is very difficult for us. We do not really know what happened and some things do not make sense," she said.
She said that her mother's killers had stolen the family car as well as her brother's sound system, speakers and a music amp, but had left behind money and jewellery.
Breet's neighbour, Anna Wiblin, who scared off two would-be burglars when they tried to break into her home during the early hours of Friday morning, said she was terrified after what had happened.
"I am really scared. I was sitting watching TV when I saw two men trying to force open my lounge window. I screamed before telephoning neighbours and police," she said.
Another neighbour, Hettie Smalberger, said the attack was the third one in Abilia Street on Friday.
"Crime is really bad and is getting worse. It is just a matter of time before someone else is murdered," she said, adding that she was too afraid to go out in the evening.
"It is just too dangerous."
On Sunday 23-year-old Brent Hiscock bled to death on the veranda of his Boschkop home after he was shot in the back by two gunmen. His killers fled without taking anything.
On Monday evening Dr Cornelius de Klerk, 70, was shot five times in the driveway of his Menlo Park after he and his brother were attacked by two hijackers.
His brother was shot in both arms. The killers fled with De Klerk's handgun.
Police spokesperson Constable Brenda Kgafela said no arrests had been made for any of the murders and that the identity of the killers were still unknown.
She appealed to people who had information on the killers to contact police or Crime Stop on 08600 10111 immediately.
This article was originally published on page 1 of Pretoria News on January 06, 2007