Ilze van Greunen tells of her ex-cop husband Marius's murder. Looking on is their daughter Kay. (Alet Pretorius, Beeld)
31/03/2008 23:17 - (SA)
Hilda Fourie, Beeld
Pretoria - A former police officer, who is the father of two small children, was found dead in his bedroom on a smallholding in Kameeldrift in northern Pretoria, after he had been shot seven times by robbers.
"Seven times. Why seven times?" asked a devastated Ilze van Greunen, 34, about the death of her husband, Marius, 38.
According to her, the children had stayed calm when they heard the news.
Kay would point to the heavens if asked where her dad was. Zian said the biggest star in the heavens was his father.
Marius had been an inspector in the criminal investigation department of the Kameeldrift police office before resigning about a year ago. After that, he worked in a brickyard.
Ilze said: "They could've just shot him once, tied him up or hit him over the head. It wasn't necessary to kill him.
Ilze and her children, Kay, six, and Zian, four, had been on holiday in Durban when Marius was killed on Saturday and they caught a flight back to Gauteng on Saturday afternoon.
She had taken the children on holiday because the family had had a burglary at their home about two weeks ago and the children "did not even want to go to the bathroom alone anymore".
"I just wanted to take them away from everything," said Ilze.
Marius's brother-in-law, Louis Esterhuizen, 32, who lived on the smallholding in a separate house, said he was woken up by shots about 03:00 on Saturday.
He didn't worry about it too much as apparently shots were fired regularly in the area.
Will never forget the image
"I got up and looked around outside for movement, but didn't see anything," said Esterhuizen.
"On Saturday morning I went to town. When I got back about 11:00 I became suspicious because Marius's car was still in the driveway.
"All the doors of the house - except the door of his room - were locked and there was a ladder leading up to Marius's balcony.
"I went into the house and found Marius on his bed in his room. He had been shot seven times. It's an image that will always stay with me," said Esterhuizen.
Marius's laptop computer, cellphone and wallet had been stolen.
His former colleagues had to investigate his death.
Ilze said: "When I heard the news, I couldn't believe it."