Johannesburg - The blood had been cleaned off the walls and floor. By Monday morning, all signs that the office had been a crime scene were removed.
The desks and chairs were back in their places.
But in the boardroom, there was a psychologist.
As staff came out of the room, their eyes were wide and strained.
“Yes, it’s horrible,” whispered one woman into her phone.
Outside, a man dragged hard on a cigarette, his face crumpled as he looked at his feet.
“They had had problems for some time,” said Lloyd Smith (not his real name), a senior employee at the Sandton company in whose premises a woman was stabbed about 50 times at the weekend.
Staff there believe she was the wife of an employee at the company and they had met in the quiet office at the weekend while no one was around.
The man, believed to be the dead woman’s husband, didn’t come to work on Monday morning.
On Saturday evening, a passer-by spotted a badly wounded woman lying near the boom gate of the Sandton office park. She quickly called paramedics, who transported the injured woman to hospital.
She died on arrival.
On Monday, police said the dead woman’s identity was unknown, but staff at the company said she had been identified on Sunday morning as the wife of an employee.
Smith said the dead woman was believed to have been a manager at a large retail store.
“They were middle-aged. She was the manager of a big enterprise,” Smith paused.
“I don’t even know why someone would be here on the weekend. They probably just used this as a meeting place,” he said.
The man believed by staff to be the perpetrator was described as a gentleman, the kind of man who shared a smoke with the others. He was described more as timid than aggressive.
He had been working at the company for a number of years as a call centre agent and came from KwaZulu-Natal.
Staff were jittery and tearful at the thought that a long-time colleague had used their work space as a place to kill his partner.
“There’s no history of that sort of thing here,” he said. “It’s not like the individual had any track record.”
The lush lawns and security booms give a semblance of safety. Smith said nothing was missing from the office, and it appeared that the perpetrator had brought the murder weapon with him and left with it.
The police were contacted for comment, both by phone and SMS, but at the time of publication they had not responded to queries about the woman’s identity or whether an arrest had been made.