Cape Town - Four men detained on the mountains above Kalk Bay following the murder of Henri la Cour on Wednesday morning have been released after questioning.
The knifeman who killed the much-loved Fish Hoek man was still on the run on Thursday night, a day and a half after he stabbed the 72-year-old to death on the Trappieskop Trail off Boyes Drive.
On Thursday night, his two daughters and their families prepared for the long journey back to South Africa from Australia – Natalie Moffat, her husband Ryan and their sons Dexter and James from Sydney, and sister Brigitte Kolbe, and her daughter Claudia, both from Tasmania.
For Natalie the news of her father’s brutal slaying was particularly harsh – she had spoken to him just two hours before he set off on the trail above Kalk Bay harbour. He had told her he felt “105 percent” strong, after an epileptic fit a fortnight earlier.
Moffat said they had been overwhelmed – even from Australia – by the outpouring of grief from the Fish Hoek community.
Facebook’s “Fish Hoek Beach” page illustrated the sight that would be missed – La Cour as he was seen daily, taking in the morning sunshine with his Bible and flask of coffee.
“One of Fish Hoek’s familiar and respected gentlemen,” noted Marilyn Coldrey.
“Gone but not forgotten. Gone home to God. Our deepest sympathy to his family. Footprints in the sand,” wrote Amanda Joy Lee.
“Senseless. Sending condolences to his family. May the love that comes from Fish Hoek folk help you through this sad time,” posted Shelley Briggs.
Moffat told the Cape Argus: “It’s going to be terrible arriving at Cape Town International Airport and for the first time not being met by my father. He was such a loving father, a great grandfather, he’ll be missed by all of us.”
Four men were detained in the hours after his murder – two on the Clovelly side of the mountain, and two towards Muizenberg – but by Thursday all four had been released, having no apparent links to the attack.
Captain Stephen Knapp said all were Vrygrond residents, aged 13 to 15, and allegedly belonged to the Puppy Dog Gang.
“The suspects, who have been connected to at least two beach robberies, pointed out one of the cellphones stolen on Sunday, June 22. A 24-year-old was arrested for possession of the stolen Samsung Galaxy S3,” Knapp said.
On the same day, at about 6.30am, a 24-year-old Vrygrond resident was robbed on her way to work, he said. Following the speedy response of the police officers involved in the earlier arrests, Constable Jason Pieterse arrested a 19-year-old woman and recovered all the stolen goods, including jewellery, clothing and a wallet.