Student murdered in Woodstock

Cape Town – A Woodstock student was brutally attacked and murdered on Thursday morning after a burglar broke into his home, which is situated less than 500m from the Woodstock police station.

Dane van Zyl, 21, a student in business management at Unisa, was attacked and stabbed several times in the neck, chest and legs between 07:00 and 10:00 in his home in Plein Street, which he shared with his brother and his brother's friend.

It was the second murder in Woodstock in three days. A man, 25, whose name had not yet been released, was stabbed to death in Albert Road on Tuesday night.

Since 2006, at least two academics and two students from the University of Cape Town have been murdered in the same area. Warrant Officer Lourens le Roux was also shot and killed in front of the Woodstock police station.

Found in pool of blood

According to Van Zyl's brother, Uriah, 26, he and his friend had left for work at about 07:15. Both are builders.

Uriah later came home to meet a business acquaintance, but first stopped at a shop to buy milk.

"When I unlocked the front door, I found my brother in a pool of blood on the floor. There were several knife wounds to his body. There was blood everywhere," he said.

Uriah carried his brother to his bakkie and raced to the Chris Barnard Memorial Hospital, where he died shortly after his arrival.

A friend, Oliver Dolby, called the police.

When reporters arrived on the scene, several shocked friends were supporting Uriah and hugging him. His brother's blood was all over his clothes.

Neighbours tried to stop burglar

According to Woodstock police spokesperson Sergeant Hilton Malila, the murderer had broken the kitchen window to gain access to the house.

Van Zyl was at home alone at the time of the incident.

"The man got away with a laptop and a cellphone. He came via an alley next to the house and climbed over the neighbours' wall," added Malila.

After fleeing from the house, neighbours saw the attacker in their back yard.

There was a physical altercation when they tried to detain him.

The attacker, who had a back pack with him, managed to pull free, dropped the back pack and ran away.

In the bag were DVDs, a PlayStation and computer cables. Uriah confirmed to police that these belonged to them.

Malila said the neighbours had said the man was covered in blood.

The neighbours also said they had seen the suspect in the area before.

"The attacker is a young, short man and his arms are full of tattoos."

No weapon was found on the scene.

Warm, loving person

Uriah said his brother was a warm, loving person who cared for others.

"Everyone liked him. He would never hurt anyone."

Their parents left the Northern Cape on Thursday for Cape Town. They live near Kimberley.

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