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Cape Town - Cape Winelands winemaker Pieter Walser was doing Pilates in his pyjamas at his home in the Strand when his phone rang.
“Are you okay?” asked a neighbour. “What’s going on in your street? The whole place is full of police!”
A bemused Walser, CEO and winemaker of the BLANKbottle range, ran out into the street and found police vans parked bumper to bumper from in front of his house down to the end of the street and around the corner.
“A yellow police crime-scene ribbon was spun around our neighbouring property and there were police standing almost shoulder-to-shoulder and people from the area streaming in,” he told the Cape Argus.
He asked what was happening and was eventually directed to a plain-clothed policeman who said: “There’s been a murder. A man allegedly killed a child with a spade and buried him in a shallow grave.”
Walser replied: “Goodness. Where?” The inspector replied: “You see where the dog is? Right there.”
To which Walser replied: “Oops, that was me… ”
Walser told the Cape Argus: “I’d decided to build a sandpit for my three little ones. And the closest place to get white sand from was under the grass of the vacant property next to me.”
He said he dug a hole on his property and filled it with white sand from the neighbouring land. He then put his soil into the hole in the neighbouring property.
“Just before I started to close the hole, however, my seven-year-old son, Luca, jumped into it and covered himself with soil. I continued to throw the rest of the soil on him until only his head stuck out.”
But what neither Luca nor his dad noticed were the shocked faces of a few neighbourhood boys cycling by.
“And they, of course, didn’t see Luca wiggle his way out of the hole.
Meanwhile the boys had gone home and reported to their parents that he had killed a boy and buried him.
Initially the boys’ mother brushed them off, but after a sleepless night, she investigated – and discovered the suspicious shallow grave.
“When he heard the truth the policeman was so glad, he almost embraced me! He said he had been preparing to dig up the body of a child.
“Then he said: ‘It’s such a relief – thank you so much’,” said Walser.