Croeser’s lover fights for kids

2011-02-18 00:00

THE girlfriend of policeman murder accused Morné Croeser (34), charged with killing his wife Erika last August, allegedly told a friend that he threatened to kill her two children from a previous marriage if he ever caught her cheating on him.

This, as well as an allegation that she threatened last October to kill herself and her ex-husband if Croeser was arrested for Erika’s murder, led to the children being temporarily removed from her custody earlier this week.

Acting high court Judge J. Ploos van Amstel granted an order on Monday authorising police to accompany the children’s grandparents to fetch the children from their schools.

The woman, who cannot be named in order to protect the children, aged five and two, yesterday launched an application to have the children returned.

In an affidavit, she said the allegations made were fully investigated by police and that she was interrogated by Warrant Officer Swami Pillay, the investigating officer in Croeser’s murder case, in October last year and on January 31 in that regard.

She also alleges that material facts were not disclosed to the judge who granted the order.

These related to previous court orders allowing her ex-husband only supervised visits, and to an interdict she obtained against her former husband.

She said the fact that she does not want the children to stay with her former in-laws is contained in previous correspondence between the attorneys acting for the parties.

Acting Judge Yoga Moodley ordered that further affidavits be filed by all the parties and postponed the case to Wednesday next week for argument.

Croeser, against whom the children’s grandparents are also seeking an interdict to stop him having contact with them, appeared in court alongside his alleged girlfriend and family members.

He was warned by the court that if he wishs to file any opposing affidavits, he should consult an attorney and do so by the close of business today.

Croeser’s girlfriend’s father-in-law said on affidavit that “knowing the type of violence” Croeser is capable of, he and his wife fear for the lives of their grandchildren.

He said the children’s mother allegedly told her friend previously that Croeser “cannot stand” one of her children because he reminds him of her ex-husband.

They also said they were concerned by Croeser’s alleged treatment of the children.

The older boy allegedly complained to them of a sore jaw and revealed broken skin inside his mouth. According to the affidavit, the child told them that Croeser had grabbed him by his mouth while shaking his head after becoming cross.

The grandparents also alleged that they are aware that their former daughter-in-law had “at least four different boyfriends” while she was involved with Croeser, and said it was only a question of time before he found out. “Then our grandchildren are in extreme danger,” they submitted.

The children’s grandfather said the divorce between his son and his former daughter-in-law ended extremely acrimoniously and that his son was severely affected.

He said the couple have made various accusations against each other and have consulted psychiatrists and psychologists.

He alleged his ex-daughter-in-law suffers from bipolar disorder and has shown herself to be unable to cope with stress.

He alleged she has shown signs of emotional instability resulting from her relationship with Croeser and his recent arrest.

BRIGADIER Francis Bantham, the station commissioner at Mountain Rise police station, has pointed out that Constable Morné Croeser was not a member of Mountain Rise police station, but was attached to the Pietermaritzburg dog unit, which is situated at Mountain Rise police station.

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