Hilda Fourie, Beeld
Pretoria - A Pretoria woman presumably opened the gate for her gardener on Thursday, moments before he shot her in the head.
Then he forced 53-year-old Christa du Toit's friend and her domestic worker to step over her body four times. He also kicked the body.
Du Toit died in the passage of her house in Swacina Park on the Uitzicht smallholdings in the west of Pretoria, at the spot where she opens her electric gate from inside the house.
"It's terrible. The one moment you're talking to her, then you come back and she has a gunshot wound in the head," said her friend, Mickey Coetzee, 48.
Du Toit, Coetzee and the domestic worker, Maurine Mambo, 30, were home alone on Thursday morning after Du Toit's fiance, André du Plessis, 54, left for work in Kempton Park.
Du Toit's two gardeners did not show up for work as usual that morning.
At about 08:30 Mambo saw the one gardener strangling Du Toit in the house and heard her scream. At that point Coetzee was in her flat on the same premises.
"The next moment Maurine came running over and said Christa is being held hostage," Coetzee said.
"I told Maurine to lock the door. She had only just locked it when a shot was fired through the door."
The man forced Coetzee and Mambo into the bathroom before taking them to the main house.
He held a firearm to Coetzee's head and repeatedly demanded money.
"We walked into the hallway and saw Christa lying there," Coetzee said.
"We had to climb over her body to get to the master bedroom. He forced us to step over Christa's body four times.
"The first time we climbed over her body I asked him if Christa was dead. He kicked her body and told me to be quiet."
After the fourth time he shoved them out the back door.
Mambo grabbed the gardener's firearm and threw it in the air.
It fell apart as it landed on the ground. Mambo ran away and sought help from a neighbour.
That's when the murderer tackled Coetzee and punched her in the face several times. She lost consciousness.
When she woke up, he was gone.
Officials from the Hercules police station, the police's air wing and the Pretoria K9 unit (formerly the dog unit) were at the scene within minutes.
Police spokesperson Louis de Bruin said the police are looking for Nyasha Mabure, 19, who may be able to help with the investigation.
De Bruin said it appears that the attacker demanded money but didn't get any.
Nothing was stolen.
|Address:||Swacina Park on the Uitzicht smallholdings|
|Crime Date/Time:||23 Sep 2010, 00:09 AM|
|Reported By:||Report A Crime|
|Reported Date:||24 Sep 2010, 09:09 AM|