Durban - Police have made no arrests after a 71-year-old woman was stabbed to death at a popular KwaZulu-Natal South Coast beach.
Dierdre “Derry” Gerryts, of Mbabala Lodge flats, was attacked near Port Edward between 3pm and 4pm on Friday, Hibiscus Coast local municipality councillor, Stephanie Breedt, told the Daily News yesterday.
The pensioner was taken from her car at Munsters Beach, said Breedt, and suffered multiple stab wounds.
“Her body was found near her car on the steps down to the beach at Munster. She had been about to take her Yorkshire terrier to the beach for a walk. Her car keys and the dog were still in the car. Police have not yet caught anyone but are working non-stop on the case,” Breedt said.
Her body was found by someone walking on the beach.
A case of murder was being investigated by Port Edward SAPS. Police spokeswoman Captain Nqobile Gwala said the motive for the killing was unknown.
Family spokeswoman Katherine Trusler, said Gerryts moved to KZN a few years ago from Johannesburg. She practiced as a counsellor for many years and spent most of her life looking after others.
“She overcame serious health issues of her own and remained a positive life force. She was a wildlife enthusiast, animal lover and loved the outdoors. She had strong family roots in Bethulie. She is going to be sorely missed by her family and friends.”
Breedt said Gerryts’ close friends and family were distraught. “She was not married and has no children. It was a truly shocking and awful incident,” Breedt said.
The South Coast community has been stunned by the murder, said Dr Rishigen Viranna MPL, the DA KZN spokesman on Community Safety and Liaison.
A fisherman, whose name has been withheld, posted his account of the incident on the Munster Glenmore Beach Facebook page. He believed he saw the person responsible for the crime.
“While I was fishing on the beach very close to where it happened and this young man walked past me.
“He went to my fishing bag and when I looked at him he turned his head away from me. I did not recognize him as being a local in this area.
“He was heading straight to the area where this incident happened and the time was about four. He never came back past me as I was on the beach till after 5pm,” he said.
While people were sending their condolences yesterday afternoon, the Munster Glenmore Facebook page admin Gill Carlow said all posts regarding the murder in Munster had to be removed at the request of a family member.
Police are appealing to anyone who might have information on the case to contact the local police or Crime Stop at 08600 10111.