The wife of a well-known Kimberley medical specialist is lucky to be alive after she was stabbed three times in her Belgravia home by an intruder, who apparently waited for more than an hour-and-a-half for her to arrive home.
The attacker, who has been photographed on the family’s CCTV camera system, is believed to be the same person who broke into the house a week previously - an incident which was not investigated by the Kimberley police, despite it being reported at the Kimberley Police Station.
Maretha Mineur, wife of physician Bob Mineur, is recovering in the Intensive Care Unit at Kimberley MediClinic, after her attacker came within millimetres of stabbing her in the carotid artery in her neck.
“It was literally millimetres between me and death,” Mineur said from her hospital bed on Monday morning. Dry blood was on Monday still embedded in the corners of her fingernails and traces of the large volume of blood she lost were visible on her arms.
Relaying the events of her horrific ordeal, Mineur said that a week ago, on Sunday, March 9, her husband came home and found that their Belgravia house had been broken into and several items, including laptops and iPads, had been stolen.
The thief had entered their living room as well as their bedroom, where he took a pair of the doctor’s shoes and left his behind, as well as a cap he had been wearing.
“My daughter was at home at the time but luckily she was in another part of the house so she didn’t see or hear anything. She had left the kitchen door open so it is suspected that he gained access into the house through the open door.”
Footprints in the garden indicated that he had jumped over the fence of a neighbour, who is a elderly, frail woman living on her own.
The incident was reported to the police at the Kimberley Police Station but, according to Mineur, the police did nothing to investigate the case.
“They never came to the house or took fingerprints or even came to fetch the shoes or cap.”
This Sunday, Mineur went shopping around 9.30am. Her 29-year-old daughter, Nathalie, was in her flat on the property, only metres from where the CCTV showed that her attacker had been waiting for more than an hour-and-a-half. In the footage, he is seen lounging and sitting against the wall and in one instance it even appears as if he is saying his prayers and making a sign of the cross.
“When I arrived home from town around 11.30am, I opened the motor-gates to the surgery, which is where we park our cars, and unlocked the door which leads into the patio to go into the kitchen.”
It was here where her attacker was waiting for her.
“The minute I walked into the patio area, he shouted ‘Madam’ and then attacked me with a knife. He stabbed me in the shoulder and I could see that he was aiming for my neck. It was obvious he wanted to kill me.”
The attacker also stabbed her in the lip before hitting his mark, stabbing her in the neck. “Fortunately he missed the main artery by millimetres.”
According to Mineur, the attack was so violent that the blade of the knife bent and the attacker lost his grip. “When the knife fell on the floor, he grabbed my bag and ran in the direction of the neighbouring property.”
Mineur, who did not initially realise that she was bleeding profusely, tried to give chase. “My daughter, who was alerted by my screams and had come out of her flat, shouted at me to stop because there was blood everywhere. The blood was gurgling out of the wound in my neck.”
Using her one hand to apply pressure to the wound in her neck, Mineur then drove herself to the hospital where she was stabilised before being admitted to the intensive care unit.
“Luckily we live close to the hospital and the car is automatic so I could drive myself and stem the bleeding at the same time.
“Thank goodness my daughter never heard anything or came out of her flat while he was waiting there. She might have been the victim and could have been raped or even killed.”
According to Mineur it appears that her attacker was waiting for her to come home so that he could gain access to the house. “All the security doors were locked, so he couldn’t get inside. He was waiting so that he could kill me and then get inside.”
Her husband on Monday offered a R20 000 reward for the arrest and successful conviction of her attacker.
Colonel Priscilla Naidu, section head of the police’s media centre in the Northern Cape, on Monday said that the police were investigating the allegations (that the police had not investigated the initial incident) which it considered in a serious light.
“Police negligence will be investigated internally and the necessary departmental action will be instituted against the police official concerned.”
Naidu failed to respond to specific questions put to the police including whether there had been an increase in robberies in the Belgravia, Herlear and Monument Heights areas recently; whether there had been any other attacks reported on residents or motorists; whether the police believed one person was responsible or whether there was a gang operating in the area; whether police patrols and visibility had been increased; why no-one was sent to investigate the initial break-in at the Mineur residence and whether anyone had been arrested.
She also failed to comment on the public perception that the police are not really interested in break-ins, dismissing these as petty crimes when they could lead to more serious crimes. - Diamond Fields Advertiser