Monday, 16 April 2007

Hijackers kill doc's son, dream

15/04/2007 23:13 - (SA)

Liela Magnus, Beeld

Pretoria - The dream of a Pretoria surgeon that his son would one day take over his practice has been shattered, after the young man was killed in what appears to have been a botched hijacking.

Marnus Venter, 22, a fourth-year medical student at the University of Pretoria was shot several times in the chest in the garage of their home at Eldoraigne, Centurion, on Saturday morning.

Dr Jan Venter, an orthopaedic surgeon at Unitas Hospital in Centurion said although no one knew exactly what had happened in the garage, the logical conclusion was that it had been a botched hijacking.

Totally devastated

It appears that when Marnus came back from a wedding after midnight, the attackers slipped into the garage behind him and jumped him inside.

His emotional father said: "It's the first time we've been victims of crime. We are totally devastated. It was my dream that he would one day take over my practice."

His other son, Jannes, is an engineer and research lecturer at the university, and his daughter, Marike, is a first-year architecture student there.

The neighbour's son arrived home shortly after the incident and saw that the Venters' garage door was open.

He went to investigate and found Marnus's body.

Venter said: "We didn't hear the shots at all. The first I knew that something was wrong was when the neighbour's son came to wake us up."

A police forensic bag covering a blood trail and various bunches of flowers lay in front of the garage on Sunday afternoon.

Marnus's mother, Helmie, said friends and people who knew her son had placed flowers in front of the garage.

"He treated life with gentleness and respect, and he was hyper-considerate. You could see his unbelievably dry sense of humour in his face.

"One of his friends said Marnus was the only person they knew who blushed so easily," she said.

Venter said it was a comfort to them that their son was religious. "We hope his death will touch someone and bring change."

Police empathy helped family

Marnus was a talented musician who played classical guitar. His father said his son played mostly in church.

Venter said the professionalism of the police and their empathy had helped the family a great deal.

At this stage, the funeral service for Marnus is scheduled for Wednesday at the Eldoraigne NG Church. The burial will be finalised when the post-mortem has been done.


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