Slain SA author was loved by all - friend

2016-05-12 17:36
(File, News24)

(File, News24)

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Cape Town – Slain author Winnie Rust was like a "princess in Wellington" and loved by everyone in the Boland town, a friend of hers said on Thursday.

Katrin Steytler said she joined Rust's reading circle when she moved to the town 26 years ago and they had been friends ever since.

"The whole town is just stunned by the murder. I have never in those 26 years heard a negative thing about this woman," she told News24.

"She was just a wonderful person with a social conscience. She was very intelligent and wrote very interesting books."

Rust, 76, was murdered in her home in Uitsig on Wednesday afternoon.

Netwerk24 reported that preliminary information was that her husband, Dr Matthew Rust, 87, was woken up by the bell at the gate at about 15:30. When he went to see who was there, he found his wife dead on the kitchen floor.

A preliminary probe found Rust had bruises to her face and her hands and feet had been tied, said Western Cape police spokesperson Constable Noloyiso Rwexana.

Steytler said she believed only Rust's cellphone and purse were taken.

"It sounds like she could have been attacked by someone who was crazed by drugs because so little was taken," she said.

"It tells one it was probably somebody looking for drug money."

Town’s drug problem

Wellington, like other places in the Western Cape, has seen a surge in drug addiction and poverty in recent years.

Steytler listed a number of killings that took place "just a short walk away," including those of UCT lecturer, Dr Lisbé Smuts-Smith 10 years ago and couple Daan and Erka Rousseau three years ago.

It was a strange thing, she said, that the section was the target of so many burglaries.

According to official police statistics, burglaries at residential homes in Wellington had shot up by 17%.

In 2014/15, 74 more cases were reported to police than the previous year.

Rwexana said a post-mortem would determine Rust's cause of death. A motive was not yet clear.

While no arrests had been made yet, a "dedicated police detective" was investigating the murder.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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