Gerrit Hesselman, 51, allegedly stabbed his wife of 25 years to death while she was sleeping in their home in Kanonkop in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The body of Wilhelmiena Hesselman, 48, was found in her bed; she’d been stabbed so many times that her bed was soaked with her blood while her lungs were lying on the floor.
Her only sister, Karen Dulman, 49, says Wilhelmiena wanted to leave Gerrit and tried to divorce him twice before, but she kept taking him back after he begged and pleaded.
The couple has four children and seven grandchildren.
“After he was done stabbing my sister he went over to the neighbour and confessed what he had done. He then drove himself to the police station to hand himself over,” says Karen.
“My sister wanted to divorce him as she was sick of his jolling (infidelity). He was unemployed and she had to take care of everything.
“The divorce proceedings were set to begin this week.”
According to Karen, the couple’s teenage grandson, who lives with them, witnessed the gruesome attack.
“He said she was sleeping and Gerrit stabbed her in her head. She woke up and started fighting for her life and he stabbed continuously,” says Karen.
“We cannot say how many times she was stabbed. It looks as if he wanted to slit her throat or cut it out.
“When their grandson tried to stop his grandfather, that vark (pig) kicked the child against the cupboard. Hy’t na hom nog gemik met die mes (He aimed at him with the knife.).
“My own son had to pick up my sister’s lungs from the floor. Hy het haar nie vermoor nie, hy het haar vrek gemaak soos ’n vark (He didn't just kill her, he killed her as if she was a pig),” Karen cries.
She says they have reason to believe the murder was premeditated.
“A few months ago my sister told me that he threatened to kill her, but she brushed it off. Our family is broken.
“In court he was crying. He turned around and asked where his children were. His one daughter stood up and said, ‘hier is ek, daddy (Here I am, daddy)’,” she says.
Police spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut, confirmed the incident.
“Atlantis police arrested the 51-year-old man for the murder of his wife. It’s alleged the victim was asleep when her husband started stabbing her. They had an argument the evening prior,” he says.
The suspect appeared in the Atlantis Magistrate's Court on Thursday on a charge of murder.
The matter was postponed to September 12 for a bail application.