Couple attacked at home

2007-11-16 00:00

A couple well known in the city's coloured community, Allistair (Coopie) and Joan de Lange, were brutally attacked in their city centre flat by two men - one on crutches - pretending to be beggars at about 4 pm yesterday.

Allistair de Lange (67) died in their second floor flat in Manuella Court, Langalibalele (Longmarket) Street (between Retief and Boshoff streets).

His wife (64) was rushed to hospital where she was undergoing surgery last night.

Neighbours were still in shock as they recalled the afternoon's horrific events. One said she saw two men hovering around her first floor flat, and when she asked what they wanted, they said they were looking for a Mr Naidoo.

“I told them there was no one with that name living in the flats. They moved on, and a short while later I heard Joan's screams. I thought something had happened to Coopie, as he recently had an operation, and rushed out.”

Another said she ran upstairs when she heard the screams, also thinking that Coopie had suffered a relapse, only to find the couple lying in a pool of blood in the passageway of their flat, with their dog Suzie standing guard over them.

She said the De Langes are very security conscious and only leave their security gate open in the mornings and at around 4 pm when they let the dog out.

People from the surrounding buildings tried to give chase, but the suspects were long gone.

The De Langes' son Bruce was devastated by the attack. “I received a call asking me to rush over to the flat and found my father dead … I am shocked and can't understand the senselessness and brutality of the attack. Why is this happening?” he said.

De Lange was involved in the building profession and Joan was a well-known dressmaker. They had two sons and two daughters.

Police are investigating a case of murder and attempted murder.

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