3 August 2007
WHITE RIVER - She was a fragile old woman who at 87 years of age could hardly defend herself against anybody, yet she was killed in the worst possible way.
The community of Curlews is still reeling after Ms Sannie Viljoen was found murdered in her home on Saturday morning.
Although police are still investigating the case and details are sketchy, it seems that someone gained entrance to her home on Friday night or in the early hours of Saturday morning. Not being able to get the front door open, they broke a small kitchen window. Viljoen was most probably dragged from her bed before her throat was slit with one of her own kitchen knives. They only took the R15 she had in her purse and her bankcards.
Viljoen`s daughter Ms Annatjie Liebenberg, who lives about 30 metres from her mother on the same premises, said her mother brought her something to eat on Friday night. That was the last time she would ever see her.
Liebenberg told Lowvelder yesterday it was her mother`s routine to open her curtains and door as soon as she awoke at about 07:00.
"I found it quite strange when by about 11:45 she had not awoken yet," Liebenberg said. She walked over and saw her mother`s curtains were sill closed. She knocked on the bedroom window, but Viljoen did not respond. It was only when she walked back to the front door that she saw the window was broken.
Looking into the house she saw a heap of what looked like pieces of carpet. "When I looked closely, however, I could see gray hair," Liebenberg said.
Since her husband was away at the time she contacted her neighbour who helped her to open the wooden door. They could not gain entrance as they struggled to open the security gate. "I could immediately see she was dead." Even then Liebenberg believed her mother had died of natural causes.
The police later informed her Viljoen had indeed been murdered.
Viljoen had been living with her daughter for the past 36 years and the family moved to their current home 17 years ago.
"Despite her age my mother was still an independent person and it was sometimes difficult for me not to treat her like a child," Liebenberg added.
She said yesterday that they had good security measures and didn`t have any problems with crime during the past two years.
"I am extremely shocked by the incident, but I don`t bear a grudge."
A memorial service will be held for Viljoen at 11:00 on Friday at the Nelspruit Crematorium.