"We only ran towards them when we saw that they were fighting. We were not even aware that the suspect had a knife with him.”
A RiTchie family is still in shock after witnessing the brutal stabbing of 37-year-old Elsie Tshabalala, who was murdered in what is believed to be a lovers’ quarrel on Sunday morning.
The incident happened about 200 metres from Tshabalala’s home.
Family members yesterday struggled to hold back the tears and broke down as they described how they witnessed an ex-boyfriend allegedly stabbing Tshabalala to death.
According to one family member, Petronella Jacobs, the two had previously lived together in Ritchie, but had broken up about five months ago.
Tshabalala had returned to live at the family home.
“The accused came to the house several times on Sunday morning and he also took away Elsie’s phone.Then my grandmother, Chrissie Tshabalala, 79, summoned him to sit down so that they could discuss their relationship.
“Elsie told him that it was over between them,” a devastated Jacobs explained.
She said they left the deceased at home and went to visit a nearby friend. They later saw the suspect heading to the house and the two (the suspect and the victim) leaving together.
The family admitted that the couple was having problems, but added that Tshabalala had not said much about it.
“On the day of the incident we had our fears that things were not going well, which was why we were watching them. We only ran towards them when we saw that they were fighting. We were not even aware that the suspect had a knife with him.”
They added that after the incident the suspect sat at a nearby abandoned stadium.
“He did not even show any remorse and threatened us with the knife when we demanded answers as to why he had done such a thing.”
The deceased’s older sister, Paulina Jacobs, said that when they arrived on the scene, they realised that there was nothing more they could do as Tshabalala was already very weak.
According to her, the fire brigade was the first to arrive on the scene while the ambulance took a long time to arrive.
“We are not saying that she would have survived her injuries, but maybe if there had been some effort to save her, it would not have been so painful now. Instead, she had to lay there in the hot sun while swimming in her own blood. It was just too much for us for her to die like an animal,” Jacobs said.
The 36-year-old suspect was arrested on Sunday by the Modderrivier police at the scene on a charge of murder and is due to appear in court soon.
According to police spokesperson, Captain Sergio Kock the motive for the stabbing is being investigated.