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Johannesburg - Two middle-aged cousins in love with the same woman were killed - one by gunfire, the other through an overdose - in a grim incident that has shocked Vanderbijlpark.
Gerhardus Derrick, from Namibia, visited his cousin Stefanus Labuschagne’s business, the IC Soap shop, on Tuesday.
Investigators say he approached Labuschagne’s wife Sonet, declaring his love for her.
The 45-year-old woman apparently told him she still loved her husband, which led to an argument that turned deadly.
Derrick pulled out a gun, and opened fire, first at the woman who had rejected him and then at 50-year-old Labuschagne.
She took a shot to head and survived, while her husband died at the scene.
Sebokeng cluster spokesman Constable Tshifhiwa Mitileni said the shooter tried to flee the scene in his bakkie, but police gave chase.
It’s understood that at some point after the shootings, he took an overdose of pills.
While speeding from the Vanderbijlpark CBD towards Meyerton with police in tow, it seemed that Derrick realised he could no longer drive, and pulled over on the R59, according to Mitileni.
He collapsed into the road at the Redan off-ramp, apparently dying from a heart attack as a result of the overdose.
Meanwhile, the 45-year-old woman at the centre of the cousins’ argument managed to make it across the street to Slater’s gym, where she begged for help.
A source at the gym said she had a bleeding head wound.
Paramedics arrived and rushed her to Emfuleni Mediclinic by ambulance, where she was said to be in a stable condition.
“A younger woman in the shop may have been the couple’s daughter, but despite her being traumatised by the incident, she was not injured,” said ER24 spokeswoman Vanessa Jackson.
Investigators at the scene said the young woman was inconsolable.
It’s understood she was too emotionally distraught to give a statement to police, who sent members of the Victim Empowerment Unit to counsel her.
Police have opened a murder inquest docket into the incident.
On Monday, Labuschagne’s Facebook profile had been updated with an image of himself on a Drakensberg hiking trail.
The page indicated that the owner of IC Soap for the past 14 years had recently returned from a cross-country holiday with his wife.
His profile shows images of the couple which he recently uploaded, with one of his “vroulief” saying “Ek is baie lief vir jou” (I love you a lot).
It also revealed that Labuschagne was originally from Namibia.