‘Girlfriend’ in dock after man beaten to death

2015-07-10 15:19

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Cape Town - A woman appeared in the Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court on Friday after a man was beaten to death with a hammer and burnt in his Rocklands home.

The 27-year-old woman was apparently the victim’s girlfriend.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Tembinkosi Kinana said the 43-year-old man’s body was found in his Dakota Street house on Tuesday afternoon. He was identified as Riedewaan Gardien.

The woman handed herself to police the next evening after the Rocklands Neighbourhood Watch convinced her to do so.

“It was horrific,” resident Catherine Smith said of the murder.

"And to be beaten to death and set alight in your own home? What motive could possibly be that strong that someone could do such a thing?”

A neighbour, who asked not to be named, said people saw smoke coming from the house and initially thought someone was burning the insulation off copper cables in a nearby veld.

“But then another neighbour investigated and realised the clouds were coming from the house. I phoned the fire brigade and while we waited for them to come, people came to help and kicked down the door.”

A front window was broken to insert a hosepipe to douse the flames. Gardien’s body was found inside.

“He was already dead. We don’t know how long he had been burning. I am so glad I didn’t go in. It was apparently a terrible sight.”

A friend, who asked to known only as Ice, said Gardien was “a passive guy”.

“This wasn’t a bad man. He didn’t deserve to die like this. There’s a special place in hell for anyone who would do something like this to another person.”

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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