Two left for dead after brutal assault in Chatty home
A three-year-old girl and her grandmother are in a critical condition in a Port Elizabeth hospital after they were savagely attacked and left for dead in their Chatty 12 home at the weekend.
Distraught neighbours a re wrestling with conflicting emotions of fear and anger following Saturday’s brutal assault, saying it was the third such incident to occur in the same street within a year.
Residents claim to know the identity and whereabouts of the alleged assailant of 47-year-old Tershia Botha and her granddaughter, Shannon, who both sustained serious head injuries.
The motive for the attack is unknown at this stage. They allege that a man known to them only by his nickname orchestrated all three recent attacks.
The nickname is known to The Herald. Police spokeswoman Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said the details surrounding the attack were still scanty at this stage as they had not yet been able to question the woman, due to her injuries.
A family friend and neighbour, who did not want to be named for fear of repercussions, discovered the battered victims in a pool of blood at about 6pm.
She had been notified that the owner of the property Botha lived in with her grandchildren, Shannon and her sister, Cassie, 7, was trying to gain access to the house to collect rent.
“I was sitting with Shannon’s seven-year-old sister at my house when another child told me the house owner was there,” the woman said.
“When I got to the house everything was locked, but I could hear her [Botha] moaning in pain.” The woman then called her husband to help force the front window open so that she could climb inside.
“It was dark in the house, but I could see Tershia lying on the floor in a curled up position and [Shannon] was about a foot away from her head,” she said.
“When I switched the light on, I saw the terrible situation. “Tershia had a big blood patch on the back of her shirt, and a stab wound in her back.
“There was no blood on the child’s pink onesie but I saw blood leaking from her ear. “I had to get out of there as soon as I could. “I opened the door and had to pull Cassie away before she could see her sister and gran on the floor surrounded by blood. “We then called the police, who took more than an hour to arrive.
“The home owner left during all the chaos, before the police arrived. ” Botha is being treated at Livingstone Hospital. Shannon, who was initially treated at Livingstone, was transferred at about 6pm yesterday to Dora Nginza Hospital.
Livingstone Hospital spokeswoman Busi Ngceshe confirmed that Botha and Shannon had both suffered multiple head injuries but said that neither one of them appeared to have been stabbed.
“I have just spoken to the matron in charge and she has confirmed that both the woman and the toddler suffered multiple serious head injuries,” she said last night.
“However, there is no evidence of any stab wounds. “It is suspected that they [the injuries] are as a result of blunt force, but there were no stab wounds on either of the patients.”
Yesterday, police forensic unit vehicles filled the dirt road in front of the yellow house, which had been cordoned off with police tape. Worried residents huddled in small groups at neighbouring houses, discussing the horrific attack and the similarities with the two previous attacks.
“This is the work of the devil. And the devil here is [nickname],” another resident, who also did not want to be named, said. “He uses and sells tik and is behind all these attacks.
“We can’t live in fear like this – we know who the culprit is and will deal with him before he does this again. “Earlier this year, in this road, a woman was found murdered in her house and her body was covered by a mattress.
“About four months before that, her neighbour had been attacked in his house. “He moved out as soon as he recovered.”
Another resident, who did not want to be named, said: “There are lots of women headed houses in this area – they are all vulnerable to this type of attack.
“The woman who was attacked lived alone at that house with her two grandchildren. She was probably one of the kindest and softest people here.
“She never got angry and just went about doing her own thing, trying to make a living for her grandchildren.” Janse van Rensburg said that while she was aware of the two previous home invasions, it would be premature to draw a link between the incidents.
“I have been informed of home invasions taking place in that area during that time, but I can’t say they are linked,” she said.
“Only through further investigation can that conclusion be made.
“The same goes for this [man whom residents have pointed to as the alleged perpetrator] – it is only through investigation that we are able to determine possible suspects.
“The details regarding the [latest] incident are few, as we need to still speak to the 47-year old victim, but the woman and the three-year-old child both suffered serious head injuries.
“It is unclear at this stage whether anything was stolen from the house.” Police are investigating cases of attempted murder.