Body found between Bible and axe
Buks Viljoen, Beeld
Nelspruit - The Bible she had used during Bible study that morning was on the bed-side table, and on the floor next to it lay a bloody axe.
The body of Ermelo resident Jacoba "Jakkie" Cornelia Coetzee, 62, who was cruelly hacked to death with the axe on Thursday afternoon, lay next to the bed.
Shocked family members and friends, including many police officials, gathered at the Coetzee couple's house on Thursday after the news of her murder broke.
Her husband Gert, 66, arrived home at about 12:30 and discovered his wife's maimed body in the master bedroom.
She had at least one hack wound to her face.
Mrs Coetzee, a member of the Dutch Reformed church in the town, had attended her weekly Bible study group with her friends earlier that morning. The last time she was seen alive was when she left there at about 11:30.
When her husband came home shortly before lunch, he found her lying in a pool of blood next to the bed in their bedroom.
The axe lay near her body.
Gem of a human being
The Coetzees are well-known in the town and news about her death sent shockwaves through the community.
Among other things, they handled ticket sales at the entrance to the Ermelo agricultural show every year.
The couple also worked part-time at the bar in the police canteen.
Mrs Coetzee was seen at the canteen on Thursday morning taking stock after they had worked on Wednesday night.
"She was a gem of a human being. The epitome of benevolence," Karla Prinsloo, spokesperson for the Ermelo police, said on Thursday.
The police's forensic experts were still busy investigating the scene for clues on Thursday night.
Her daughter, Susan Losper, told Beeld through her tears how horrific the attack had been, shortly after she arrived at her parents' home on Thursday.
She was too emotional to talk about it further.
According to Prinsloo, by Thursday night the police had found no sign of forced entry to the house.
The only thing that was missing was Mrs Coetzee's cellphone.