Piet Byleveld struggling to communicate - wife

2017-05-22 12:48
Retired detective Piet Byleveld. (Simone Kley, Netwerk24)

Retired detective Piet Byleveld. (Simone Kley, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - Last Wednesday, a day after he was admitted to Wilgeheuwel Hospital in Roodepoort, former top cop Piet Byleveld, 67, told his wife she looked pretty, as he did every day.

He had been taken to casualty with severe dyspnoea (difficulty breathing), Netwerk24 reported.

Byleveld was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer on March 10. In addition, he had a huge tumour in his liver, which had spread to his adrenal gland and spine, according to Rapport newspaper.

Byleveld's condition had deteriorated since he was admitted to hospital. By Sunday he no longer registered when someone spoke to him.

'You can cry'

Byleveld, also known as "Piet Byl", was finding it difficult to communicate with his wife, Elize, as well.

"I can see he wants to say something to me, but there is no sound [from of his mouth]," Elize told Netwerk24 just after 08:00 on Monday morning.

"Piet hasn't got much more time left and it pains me to see him like this. I don't leave his side for a moment, so that he knows how much I love him."

Elize said she recently cried a lot in front of her husband. "I told him that I was sorry for being so teary in front of him." 

"You can cry, you must get rid of your emotions," he replied.

Former colleagues say farewell

Byleveld retired from the police in 2010, after a career spanning 38 years.

High-profile cases he was involved in included Leigh Matthews, Sibille Zanner, and Sheldean Human. He was responsible for the arrest of serial killers Cedric Maake and Lazarus Mazingane.

Several of his friends and ex-colleagues from the Brixton murder and robbery squad went out of their way to say goodbye while he was still aware of his surroundings, said Elize.

"It really meant a lot to him."

Read more on:    piet byleveld  |  johannnesburg

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