Cape Town - In a new twist to the mystery of missing Russian master mariner Dimitri Sarenok, it has emerged that the Strand house he owned, and outside which a murder occurred last week, was vandalised and hateful messages painted on its walls.
Sarenok’s tenant, Belgian citizen Jurgen Rombouts, 26, was shot dead in front of the Morgenster Street house last Friday.
Sarenok, 50, disappeared after the murder and is thought to be the last person who used a skiboat, named Olly, that washed up at Glencairn on Thursday without anyone on board.
Neighbours of Rombouts, who were too afraid to give their names, said they had found the house open and in a mess earlier this week.
Painted in big black letters on the walls of the front passage and a bedroom were the messages “You’re going to die in hell”, “You’re a murderer”, and “You might have taken his body, but not his soul”, the neighbours said.
The toilet and basin in the bathroom were smashed to pieces.
The taps had been left turned on, leaving the house flooded.
Several neighbours said the house had been filthy, with soil, what appeared to be dog faeces and dog and cat food lying on the floor.
“It’s the dirtiest house I’ve seen in my life,” one neighbour said, adding that he saw cockroaches and cobwebs in the house.
The house was later cleaned up by a man who told a neighbour that Sarenok had “given” him the house, his 26-foot boat and his car.
“I can’t understand why Dimitri would go off in a little boat (Olly) when he owned a much bigger boat he could use. I think he’s trying to give the impression he’s died at sea,” the neighbour said.
Rombouts was shot dead in front of his girlfriend, Chenelle Pretorius.
He was hit once on the head, twice in the chest, and twice on the right side of his body.
The murderer rammed his red Nissan Sani into the right side of Rombouts’s black BMW, before getting out and shooting Rombouts.
Pretorius was in the front passenger seat of the BMW, and screamed in terror when her boyfriend was shot.
The gunman jumped back into his Nissan, drove a few hundred metres down Morgenster Street, got out, set the car alight and fled the scene.
According to the neighbours, Rombouts had been involved in a dispute with Sarenok at the time of his death.
Police spokesman Colonel Tembinkosi Kinana said Sarenok might be able to assist the police “with information to solve a murder case”.