Couple's gruesome stabbing

2010-08-30 00:00

A WOMAN was killed and her policeman husband stabbed at their home at Msinsi Game Reserve, Albert Falls Dam, in the early hours of Saturday.

The attack took place while the dam was busy with anglers participating in an annual bass fishing tournament in the area.

Erica Croeser (32) had her throat slit with a knife that was also used to stab her 34-year-old husband, Constable Morné Croeser of the SAPF Dog Unit, in the stomach. Paramedics found the knife still lodged in the man’s stomach after the attack at about 2 am. The scene was described as “very, very gory”.

Police believe the murder was related to a labour dispute.

Erica had been working at Albert Falls as a tourism assistant for 10 years. It is believed that the couple had just arrived home when they were attacked.

A source said that while Morné parked the car, Erica went to open the front door of their house. Two intruders, who were waiting behind the door, pounced on her.

The couple’s two young daughters, aged six and 10, were staying with their grandmother.

Distraught neighbour Hlekisile Nkala told The Witness that she heard a gunshot after 2 am, and about 10 minutes later she heard a male voice screaming for help. She quickly woke her husband and called the police.

Nkala, also the local Community Police Forum chairperson, expressed shock at Croeser’s murder “in women’s month” and said she had great regard for her. She said she felt terrible on Saturday, and spent the day indoors. She described Msinsi as a quiet place with a low crime rate.

An employee at the reserve said the incident shocked more than 300 participants staying there for the fishing tournament, which started on Friday.

“The customers have also expressed shock and fear over the gruesome murder. They keep asking if the murder really happened and if it was that gruesome,” said an employee.

Msinsi Holdings marketing manager Ray Naguran said it was too early to tell if the murder will affect tourism.

“Since the incident we have increased the number of security guards from two to four. We are also looking at more ways of increasing the security,” said Naguran.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said Morné Croeser was in a serious but stable condition in hospital yesterday. She said when paramedics arrived at the scene with police, the knife used to stab him was still lodged in his abdomen.

“Paramedics removed the knife and put up a drip and treated him before he was taken to hospital.”

The scene was abuzz with police early on Saturday morning as members of the K9 unit and other investigators went to assist at the scene.

Jeevan said police had not made an arrest yesterday. She said police have been told that nothing was taken during the attack.

“At this stage police believe that this is linked to a labour dispute. She was a supervisor, and responsible for hiring and firing.

“However, police are investigating the matter,” she said.

Croeser’s mother, Francoisana Schafer, said the family are coping with “the sad story”, but declined to comment further.

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