Intruders kill Claremont mom
Cape Town - Claremont residents are reeling in shock after a 33-year-old woman was murdered in her home on one of the area’s quieter streets.
Antoinette du Plessis’s body was found by her domestic worker at the back of the house on Buchanan Road early on Thursday after she had taken Du Plessis’s two-year-old daughter to a nearby park.
Her throat had been slit.
Three suspects were arrested shortly afterwards on Racecourse Road in Kenilworth.
The suspects, aged between 20 and 25, were arrested by patrolling police.
“They were spotted under suspicious circumstances in Racecourse Road, in possession of a laptop computer and a flat-screen television set which were stolen during the incident,” said police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andrè Traut.
The suspects faced charges of murder and the possession of stolen property, and were due to make a court appearance in Wynberg once they have been charged.
Preliminary investigations revealed that one of the suspects had previously been employed by Du Plessis, said Traut.
Neighbours said Du Plessis had recently employed someone to repair the roof . It is believed that this man was one of the suspects.
“We didn’t know them. The family have only been living here since April,” said Paul Cummins, who lives on the same street.
“I had heard that they were renting here while their house in Blouberg was being renovated.”
A neighbour, who was alerted to the crime by the domestic worker, described the scene inside the house: Blood covered the floor of the room where the body was found, and splatters of blood were found in other rooms.
“That scene is appearing before my eyes as we speak. It was terrible,” said the man, who asked repeatedly not to be named.
“I had entered the house with a tile brick in my hand, not knowing if the murderers were still inside.”
He said there appeared to have been no forced entry into the house. The front door and burglar gate were open.
“To me this suggests that the woman knew her attacker, and probably opened the door for him,” he said.
Police on Thursday cordoned off the house, and crime scene specialists were seen entering and leaving the at 2 Buchanan Street house during the remainder of the afternoon.
Du Plessis’s body had not been removed by the time her family left the house.
A small group of people who said they were friends of the family were also on the scene.
Du Plessis’s partner paced up and down, clearly in shock. At one point he carried his two-year-old daughter on one arm while being comforted by friends.
Family and friends refused to speak to the media. They said they were grieving.
“Please respect that,” said one of the men. “A statement will be issued in due course.”
Cathy Archer had come to visit her friend, Du Plessis’s neighbour, for support when she heard the news.
Five and a half years ago, Archer had found her husband, John, murdered in the couple’s home of 23 years, just five blocks away.
“I’ve tried to put it all out of my mind, and I’ve done well at achieving that. But coming around the corner, seeing the police vans, the crime scene demarcated and the people standing on the pavement, well it all just came rushing back into my head,” she said.
“My thoughts are with her family.”