Relative allegedly broke into mine manager's house before killing him

2016-12-05 11:20
Bertie Cilliers (Supplied)

Bertie Cilliers (Supplied)

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Polokwane - The man arrested for the murder of Bertie Cilliers on a smallholding near Thabazimbi is a relative who allegedly broke into his house several times over the past few months. 

Cilliers, 54, who was shot at least eight times during the attack last week, had laid complaints of housebreaking against the 25-year-old man, Netwerk24 reported on Monday.

The man was under police guard in a Rustenburg hospital after he shot himself in the head while trying to flee from police. He had not appeared in court yet.

A sister-in-law of Cilliers', Arina Cilliers, said the family was trying to come to terms with what had happened.

"I just can’t wrap my head around it."

Cilliers had lived on the smallholding on his own since his wife died in 2009.

Relatives cleaned the house on Saturday.

“There was blood everywhere – in the lounge, the kitchen. We wanted to clean it ourselves.”

The man apparently broke into Cilliers' house several times during the past few months, stealing his bakkie's keys, the house keys, the keys to his safe, and a gun. 

Someone also broke into Cilliers' house at the Tumela platinum mine in Amandelbult, where his son Dawid and wife Vanessa lived. Electrical appliances were stolen.

Bertie was likely killed on Thursday, while he was cooking, Cilliers said. The suspected killer disabled the CCTV cameras before striking.

"The food was burnt to ashes. It was still on the stove when Bertie was found."

Bertie’s other son Rudolf found his father’s body on the kitchen floor on Friday after he failed to arrive at work. 

Members of a local crime-fighting organisation helped police follow the alleged killer’s blood trail and track him down in Rustenburg. The flying squad forced him off the road near Sun City. He then shot himself, allegedly with the same gun that was used to kill Cilliers.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe confirmed the arrest.

Read more on:    polokwane  |  crime

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