29/01/2009 21:18 - (SA)
Bloemfontein - A Bloemfontein painter who allegedly strangled the elderly woman who hired him to paint her home has been arrested, Free State police said on Thursday.
Superintendent Annelie Wrensch said Park Road police station detectives arrested the 33-year-old in his house in JB Mafora Square on Wednesday night.
"At this stage the police suspect that the motive for the murder was the fact that the suspect was looking for the keys of the safe," she said.
Hannetjie van der Walt, 78, was strangled on January 8 in her and her husband Peet's Haldon Road, Universitas home.
Peet van der Walt, 84, caught the casual painter at his wife's body in the dining room when he returned from buying painting supplies.
He struggled with the man, who overpowered him and ran away.
Only a few pieces of clothing had been stolen from the house.
The man was expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrates' Court on Monday on charges of murder and attempted murder.
Station commissioner Director Koos Bonthuys commended the three detectives who made the arrest. Bonthuys urged residents in the area not to employ people from the street without checking their references and criminal records.