Sunday, 16 July 2006

'He didn't look like a killer'

14/07/2006 09:02 - (SA)

Malani Venter, Die Burger

Cape Town - A former international model, 57, from Pretoria, who was paralysed after a knife attack in Sea Point, was initially not afraid of the "civilised businessman" who stabbed her in the back.

"He looked like an ordinary businessman - decent. He was well dressed and spoke a black language," said Deidre as she described her attacker on Thursday. "He didn't look like a murderer at all."

For security reasons, her surname has not been revealed.

She said she'd pointed out the man to police on a photograph. "A detective showed me a photo album of suspects and I immediately recognised him," she said. He'd been charged with murder before.

Captain Randall Stoffels, a police spokesperson, said "the office cannot confirm if any suspect(s) had been identified or pointed out by the complainant".

Stabbed in the back twice

He said as soon as an identikit had been compiled, the media would be called on to publish it.

Die Burger reported on Thursday that Deidre had been attacked in front of her room in a complex in Sea Point last Wednesday.

She was stabbed in the back twice and paralysed from the chest down. She tried sitting up for the first time on Thursday - her birthday.

"People have been calling me from all over the country and from London to sympathise," she said.

She used to be an international model and retired five years ago. People who worked with me in the modelling industry were very shocked."

'I was lying in my own blood'

She said the man took her address book, which was in her handbag, but nothing else. "Fortunately he didn't grab my cellphone, so I could call my friend to come and help me while I was lying in my own blood."

Immediately after the attack, she had no feeling in her legs, she said.

According to a property managing agent of the complex the attack was being regarded in a very serious light and they'd met on Thursday to discuss security measures.

Anybody with information about the attack can call Sea Point police at 021 430 3700.


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