Suspect held over brutal attack on trio
June 18 2010 at 07:47AM
By Graeme Hosken
Police have arrested a man suspected of killing a Pretoria homeowner and leaving his close friend paralysed and his girlfriend injured during a robbery at his house.
The suspect was caught an hour after allegedly attacking a cyclist in Equestria several hundred metres from Friday night’s bloody attack.
Friday night’s attack left Gerhard van Jaarsveld dead and his friends, Rudolph Terblanche paralysed and Elrene Jones injured.
The three, who had to beg for their lives before they were shot, were having a braai when five men attacked them at their Libertas Street smallholding, stealing cellphones and other household electrical appliances.
The attack took place less than 1km from where German pensioner Ute Maria Wiing, 70, was found murdered in her Silver Mists security estate home earlier this month.
Seven people, including a security guard, were arrested in connection with Wiing’s murder.
Wednesday’s arrest was made after five men, who police believe are behind Friday’s attack, robbed a cyclist as he rode through a field near Jones’ home. They stole his bicycle and cash.
Police and security guards were alerted to the attack on the cyclist when the man flagged down a passing police patrol.
While several police officers searched the field, security guards and other policemen searched the surrounding streets, spotting a man, fitting the description of one of the robbery suspects, as he got into a taxi near Hans Strijdom Drive.
Forcing the taxi to stop, police arrested the man, said police spokesman Captain Jan Sepato.
“Through our investigations we strongly believe that this suspect and his four accomplices are behind the attack on Van Jaarsveld, Terblanche and Jones,” he said.
Sepato said detectives were following up more leads and were expecting to make more arrests soon.
Wilgers Hospital spokeswoman, Ineke Jonker, confirmed Terblanche was paralysed and had been transferred to the Eugene Marais Hospital’s spinal unit.
Paula de Beer, Eugene Marais Hospital spinal unit spokeswoman, said Terblanche was currently undergoing hyperbaric therapy to try to improve his condition.
“At the moment he has no movement below his shoulders and it appears as though he is a quadriplegic, with limited movement in his shoulders.
“We will be monitoring his condition constantly to see if more movement returns. Several tests are still to be conducted to determine whether the paralysis is permanent or not,” she said.
* This article was originally published on page 4 of Pretoria News on June 18, 2010