Manhunt for Limpopo attacker
Marietie Louw-Carstens, Beeld
Modimolle - A man is apparently still on the run after he allegedly forced three workers to rape his estranged wife after he tied her up on Tuesday. Earlier reports that he had been arrested turned out to be false.
The 51-year-old man apparently tried to cut off pieces of the woman's breasts before fatally shooting his stepson.
He then left a letter at the scene before fleeing.
“I am tired of life and don’t look for me,” the man apparently said on Tuesday afternoon shortly after allegedly killing his stepson, Conrad Bonnette, 19, a first-year University of Pretoria information technology student.
He had apparently lured his wife to his home in Modimolle under false pretences.
Shortly before 17:00 he phoned Dirk van der Merwe, the owner of the house in which the tragedy took place.
Van der Merwe said on Wednesday that the man thanked him for everything he had already done for him. The two of them were due to go camping.
Van der Merwe became suspicious and sent his wife to the house.
“She phoned me hysterically later and could hardly speak. She said someone had been shot in the house.” She also discovered the woman in the bedroom and untied her. “Her hands were bound with cable ties and there was a large piece of plaster over her mouth,” Van der Merwe said.
Residents of the town were shocked on Wednesday by what had happened. Several people wandered around near the house to try to find out what was going on.
The neighbours said they heard two sharp, loud noises on Tuesday afternoon, but thought someone was doing repairs in the house.
Deon Beukes, owner of the Bosfontein caravan park between Modimolle and Bela-Bela, where Bonnette worked during the holidays, said he was “quiet and well-behaved”. In the 2010 matric exams he obtained seven distinctions.
Bonnette apparently told a female friend last week that he didn’t trust his stepfather.
Beukes said that according to Bonnette, he apparently went to a nearby lodge on New Year’s Eve where his estranged wife and a male friend were eating and dancing. “I don’t trust him because he went to spy on those people.”
Beeld understands she obtained a protection order against him last year.
The suspect phoned his stepson on Tuesday afternoon and asked him to come to his house because he wanted to discuss something with him.
Beukes said on Tuesday afternoon Bonnette asked if he could go home earlier, at about 15:00.
The man apparently forced his stepson into the house and then allegedly shot and killed him with a .22 rifle in one of the bedrooms.
This took place while his estranged wife lay bound in the next room. He had earlier asked her to come to the house to talk about something.
Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said that earlier in the day the man had hired three men in the town to work in his garden. He apparently forced them to take turns raping her. The men wore balaclava caps during the incident.
Detectives on Wednesday discovered a cardboard box full of burnt documents behind the house, as well as the man's letter. Mulaudzi said he cut off parts of his wife's breasts.
A local doctor treated the woman’s injuries on Tuesday evening. She was then moved to a place of safety.
The suspect, who apparently owns two farms near Bloemfontein, fled in a white Toyota Fortuner (DCS 392 FS). The three workers fled on foot.
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the man or the three men should phone Colonel Mabisela Mohale at 082 5658606.
- On Wednesday afternoon News24 quoted a Beeld report stating that the man had been arrested in Kimberley. This was incorrect, and News24 apologises for the error.