Plucky dog tried to save owner from strangling

2012-04-11 00:00

A SMALL dog is believed to have tried to save elderly Ria Coetzee from her murderers in her St Michael’s home.

Eddy, the Jack Russell belonging to Ria (76) and her husband, Fanie (77), appeared to have suffered injuries during the ordeal last Thursday, their eldest son, Pieter, told The Witness.

“We noticed that he [Eddy] was hurt on his head and had a few scratches as well,” said Pieter.

Yesterday, the family brought Eddy back home from friends with whom he had been staying since the murder.

“When we brought him home today [Tuesday], he ran straight to the bathroom where it happened,” said Pieter.

“He must have tried to protect her when they attacked him.”

Pieter said the family was still confused by circumstances surrounding the murder of his mother.

“The dog is not allowed inside the house, but when my dad arrived home all the doors were locked and the dog was inside barking at the front door.”

A 23-year-old man is expected to appear in the Ramsgate Magistrate’s Court today.

Lungisa Victor Langazane made his first appearance yesterday, but was remanded to today after he requested legal representation.

He was arrested in Gcilima over the weekend after an intensive police investigation. “We are very happy to have made the swift arrest of this suspect,” said Captain Gerald Mfeka.

“A second suspect is still at large and police are expecting to make an arrest soon.”

Ria’s husband found her in a bathroom in their home after he returned from work. Her head and neck were tightly wrapped in her dressing gown.

Her hands were tied in front of her with electric cables and her legs were bound with a strap from a bag. Her dentures were also found on the floor next to her.

Pieter said: “The gown was wrapped so tightly that my dad had to cut it with a knife to get it off her. He also freed her hands and legs, but it was too late by then.”

• In the Witness report yesterday about Coetzee’s murder, a police report was quoted which incorrectly gave her first name as Rita. In a sub-editing error her husband, Fanie, was incorrectly said to be the manager of the Rams­gate Hotel. He is in fact the manager of the Margate Sands Hotel. The murder and robbery case is being investigated by Margate police, not Ramsgate police, and the accused was arrested in Gcilima, outside Margate, and not in Rams-gate as reported. The Witness apologises for the errors.


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