15/01/2008 07:44 - (SA)
Bobbi Scheckle, Die Burger
Aberdeen - An elderly woman who lived alone was attacked in her house on Saturday evening, presumably raped and then stabbed to death, apparently with a dinner fork.
Police said Susanna van Zyl, 77, was assaulted and murdered between 17:00 and 19:00 in her house in Meintjies Street.
Her body was found in her bedroom by her daughter, Toesie Slabbert.
A bloodstained dinner fork lay next to her.
Police spokesperson Wena Theron said a 31-year-old suspect had been arrested on Monday afternoon.
Theron said: "He probably will appear in the magistrate's court on Tuesday."
Van Zyl's other daughter, Jolene Gunter, and her family had intended to sleep over in Aberdeen on their way back to Heidelberg.
When they arrived however, her mother did not open the door.
The Gunters called Toesie and her husband, Louis, and that was when Toesie made the gruesome discovery.
Louis said the murderer had killed his mother-in-law with a dinner fork.
However, police could not confirm this.
"A neighbour had to identify my mother's remains," said a shocked Toesie. "I didn't want to see how brutally she had been murdered."
Waiting on post-mortem result
Theron said the police thought the suspect may have posed as someone who wanted to buy meat.
"Van Zyl apparently sold meat to people in the community. We think the suspect may have forced his way in when she opened the door," said Theron.
"We suspect she was strangled and then raped, but a post-mortem that will be conducted on Tuesday should shed more light on the matter."
Theron said it appeared nothing had been stolen from Van Zyl's home, but she added that the case was still being investigated.
Van Zyl's family said everything was neat when they entered the house. The curtains were drawn.
Martie Nel, Toesie's cousin from Port Elizabeth, said crime was getting out of hand.
"Criminals don't realise what they do to the families of their victims.
"It's terrible for a child to find her own mother raped and killed on a bedroom floor," she said.