“I don't know if my kids will be okay.”
These were the last words of Annemarie van Zyl before she succumbed to multiple stab wounds in front of her two young daughters.
The little sisters, aged 6 and 8, had been with their mother at her workplace in Kempton Park when a scorned former employee stabbed her to death in what is believed to have been an act of vengeance.
The man, Clement Ramawela, allegedly stabbed Van Zyl, 33, on Saturday morning with a sharp object several times before he left the office with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Van Zyl and her children had screamed and called for help from the neighbours. No one came.
An employee at a neighbouring shop spoke to The Star anonymously on Monday and recounted the events leading up to the murder.
“The guy resigned in November last year after she had given him two written warnings for not pitching up at work. He came to ask for his job back in January and the big boss said no to him,” the employee said.
Van Zyl worked at a private detective’s office.
The young woman was still visibly shaken at what she had witnessed on Saturday.
“She was a nice lady and she was a single mom. It wasn’t lekker seeing her there like that… and the smell of blood,” she said, shaking her head.
The employee said Ramawela had left behind a letter as he fled.
It read in part:
“You didn’t care about me and my kids when I lost my job, so your kids are gonna grow up without a mom.”
The employee said she had not known the man that well.
“He just used to greet me, but he didn't seem like a bad man.”
The police couldn’t confirm or deny the existence of the letter and what was written in it.
The captain said the 25-year-old suspect was arrested in the area. He appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of business robbery and murder.