Police have arrested one person in connection with the murder of well-known Gqeberha physiotherapist Marolien Schmidt in her home during the early hours of Women’s Day.
Schmidt, 40, was stabbed to death in her Sherlock Street home in Richmond Hill just after 1am.
Provincial police spokesperson Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said neighbours heard her screaming and also heard the breaking of glass.
“The neighbours immediately responded and found her lying on the floor with stab wounds,” Janse van Rensburg said.
“She was rushed to hospital but succumbed to her injuries,” she said.
Janse van Rensburg said detectives from Humewood SAPS made a breakthrough in the early hours of Thursday morning.
“The 29-year-old suspect was arrested in central Gqeberha and is detained for the murder,” she said.
Police said the motive for the murder is suspected to be robbery.
The suspect is expected to make a first appearance in the Gqeberha Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Nelson Mandela District Commissioner, Major General Vuyisile Ncata commended the detective officers for the speedy arrest.
“The dedication, commitment and professionalism of these officers undoubtedly contributes to the safety and security of our community. We will be working closely with the NPA to ensure that the suspect is denied bail,” Ncata said.
Schmidt was an Iron Man athlete and also ran her own physiotherapy practice on Main Street in Walmer.
According to The Pink Physio, Schmidt qualified from Stellenbosch University in 2005, and as a child growing up in a medical home environment, she developed an interest and a passion in helping people and relieving pain.
There has been an outcry on social media following Schmidt’s brutal killing, with some calling for the death penalty to be brought back.
The Richmond Hill community group on Facebook had asked residents to light a candle in memory of Schmidt at around 7pm on Women’s Day.
“We mourn Marolien's death, we celebrate her life as a sport woman ( Iron man!) as a dynamic and excellent physiotherapist, an animal lover, supporter of the sick, her sharp sense of humour, her strong friend and family ties, her determination to overcome long Covid (and competed again in the 70, 3 Iron Man!) and last but not least, her dedication to the sport disciplines she participated in,” they wrote in tribute.