Chef’s charred body found
Buks Viljoen, Beeld
Mbombela – A chef from Secunda was possibly first beaten to death with a wheel spanner, after which his body was left in front of his car and set alight.
The charred body of Charl Geldenhuys, 35, was found on Saturday morning in Trichardt, near Secunda. Geldenhuys’ body lay face-down directly in front of his burnt Volkswagen Golf.
The only way his body could be identified was by means of a sandal he was wearing.
Residents of the Holfontein informal settlement discovered the gruesome scene on Saturday at about 09:00.
The car’s bonnet was open and the remains of the radio and CD player lay on the front seat.
Beeld has learned that residents of the township saw the fire in the veld on Friday night at about 23:00.
Initiation school fire
They didn’t pay it much attention though, since they assumed it was a fire made at an initiation school in the area.
The burnt-out wreck of the car was in the middle of the veld about 1.5km from the settlement which is located about 10km outside Trichardt, next to the Kinross road.
The vehicle was burnt to such an extent that police were forced to use the serial number to find out who it belongs to.
This led the police to the victim’s parents, Nick and Hannetjie Geldenhuys, in Secunda.
Geldenhuys jnr was a bachelor and lived with his parents.
For the past three months he had worked as a chef at the luxurious Roses Inn guest house in Secunda.
“Physically he was a big man with a loud voice,” Roshalle Waszilewski, owner of the guest house, told Beeld on Sunday.
“He was always so friendly and pleasant. He was very popular among the staff and was like a tonic for us at the guest house.”
The last time Geldenhuys was seen alive was when he was supposed to deliver food in Secunda on Friday night, said Waszilewski.
Guest house staff became concerned when he didn’t arrive for work on Saturday morning.
“He gave one of our workers a lift every morning. We called him because he hadn’t picked her up as usual, but his cellphone was switched off.”
The police only informed Waszilewski of Geldenhuys’s death later that morning.
According to Captain Leonard Hlati, police spokesperson, a bloody wheel spanner was found in the back of the vehicle.
“At this stage it seems possible that he could have been murdered somewhere else,” he said.
“The possibility of a hijacking is not being excluded.”