Free State woman's alleged rapist was out on parole

2017-02-28 12:35
CJ Blumenthal with pictures of the life he shared with his fiancée Alice Maree. (Alet van der Walt, Netwerk24)

CJ Blumenthal with pictures of the life he shared with his fiancée Alice Maree. (Alet van der Walt, Netwerk24)

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Bloemfontein – The suspected rapist of Alice Maree, 21, had been released on parole on February 6, just three days before allegedly attacking her.

He had been doing time in the Winburg prison for assault with intent to do grievous harm, Netwerk24 reported.

He withdrew his application for bail on Friday and would remain in custody on a rape charge.

An inquest had been opened to determine how Maree died. Depending on the result, the man might be charged with murder.

He had apparently been seen on Thursday, February 9, lounging around in the street in front of the law firm in Theunissen where Maree worked as a receptionist. The law firm is across the road from the police station in Theron Street.

The man had apparently asked Maree for work on several occasions. He also pretended to want legal advice, her best friend Jolandi Hillebrand said.

Hillebrand and Maree had known each other since they were toddlers.

'Kept having nightmares'

Hillebrand said she came to see Maree on the fateful Thursday. Shortly after she left, the man allegedly entered the office, threatened Maree with a knife, demanded money, and raped her.

Ella Maree, Alice’s mother, said her daughter drove home after the attack and went to lie down.

She was so scared of her attacker and humiliated by what had happened, that she only told her family her cellphone had been stolen.

Alice’s older sister, Lynette, realised something bad had happened and urged her to tell them exactly what was wrong. They laid a charge at the police station that same evening.

The next day, Maree was admitted to the Bongani Hospital in Welkom and treated. Maree couldn’t sleep after the attack.

"She screamed at night and kept on having nightmares," her mother said.

"The only time she calmed down was when Jolandi sat with her in the afternoon. She slept for short periods, but at night she was too scared."

CJ Blumenthal, Maree’s fiancé, said she cried a lot during the first week, and became very emotional a week later and started having seizures. On Monday, February 20, 11 days after the attack and rape, she had 11 seizures. An ambulance took her to the district hospital in Virginia.

Contracted meningitis

That evening, the Marees and Blumenthal took Alice to Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein.

Blumenthal said she was treated well, but Maree never really came to again. She woke up from time to time and cried softly before falling asleep again.

Specialists at Pelonomi said she contracted meningitis and there was pressure on her brain.

Her condition didn’t improve and she died in the ICU on Friday, February 24.

Maree and Blumenthal had been dating for six years and were planning to get married next near.

The suspected rapist was arrested a day later, after giving her laptop and tablet computer to a Theunissen businessman to sell. The businessman recognised Maree from the photos on the tablet and contacted her mother.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Malebo Khosana said the alleged attacker was also suspected of escaping from custody and making unlawful use of a vehicle.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  crime  |  rape

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