03/08/2008 22:57 - (SA)
Virginia Keppler and Leané du Plessis, Beeld
Phalaborwa - "They slit his throat as if he were a sheep," said the neighbour of an elderly couple who were viciously attacked on Sunday morning.
Robert "Bob" Julyan, 70, and his wife Rhoda, 65, were attacked in the early hours of Sunday morning in their home in Essenhout Street.
Bob was stabbed repeatedly and his throat was slit, and Rhoda was tied up and assaulted.
Apparently the three attackers repeatedly asked the couple where their son was, said Superintendent Mohale Ramatseba.
He said Rhoda apparently had heard the dogs barking and had gone outside to see what was going on.
While she was outside, the attackers ran into the house without her seeing them.
They then overwhelmed her when she came back into the house, said Ramatseba.
"The three fled without stealing a thing from the house. The police don't know at this stage what the motive was for the attack."
She is in severe shock
Rhoda's cousin, Maude Steyl, who was comforting her on Sunday, said the couple's son, Steven, 40, had been in Pretoria for a doctor's appointment.
Maude said the son returned on Sunday when he heard about the attack.
Maude said the three attackers "slapped and slapped" Rhoda on the head.
"Rhoda is in severe shock and is not up to speaking to the media now. The doctor gave her something to let her sleep a bit," she said.
The Julyans' neighbour, Boet van Staden, said Bob had been discharged from hospital just a few days earlier, after receiving treatment for a spider bite.