PE family arrested in connection with body found in bushes
Petrus Scholtz's body was found dumped in the bushes in Fairview
A Port Elizabeth mother and her two children have been arrested for allegedly being involved with the murder of an elderly man whose body was found dumped in the bushes in Fairview earlier this week.
The breakthrough in the case came late Friday when police backtracked Petrus Scholtz's last known movements after his disappearance on Tuesday night.
A 55-year-old mother was arrested together with her 31-year-old son and 35-year-old daughter.
By 10am on Saturday morning, police had found the company bakkie, an Isuzu, that Scholtz had been driving when he disappeared.
Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said detectives had tracked Scholtz's last location to a house in Woltemade Street in Kabega Park at about 6:30 pm on Friday.
Scholtz, 70, who worked for Peter White Electrical in Summerstrand, allegedly went to the house sometime after 8pm on Tuesday after receiving a call out to do a private electrical job.
Naidu confirmed that the house is believed to be the primary crime scene and that items belonging to Scholtz were allegedly found inside.
“Details as to why he was murdered are still unknown as the suspects still need to be interviewed to determine the motive,” she said.
Naidu said that some of Scholtz’s tools – and other personal belongings – were found at the house.
Asked about the bakkie, Naidu said that it had been recovered in North End after the family allegedly sold the bakkie in an attempt to get rid of the evidence and also get money.Naidu said that preliminary evidence suggests Scholtz was murdered on Tuesday night at the house and his body only dumped in the bushes in Fairview late Wednesday night.
Scholtz's body was found at 8am on Thursday after a woman on her way to work stumbled across the lifeless corpse dumped along a gravel road on the outskirts Fairview.
His head had large gashes from being beaten while his hands and feet were bound, mouth taped shut and head covered in clingwrap.
Scholtz had no possessions on him and his company Isuzu bakkie was missing. Initially, detectives believe he was hijacked, robbed and beaten before being murdered and dumped alongside the dirt road. After the arrest however police suspect that Scholtz was a victim of a robbery plot.
Naidu however said that a motive of robbery would form part of the probe.
“We are looking into all aspects of this to determine the motive.”
Shortly after the find, police canvassed the area for CCTV footage to assist with identifying the culprits.
The trio are detained at Kabega Park Police Station and will appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Monday.
Additional charges are expected to be added as the investigation unfolds over the weekend.
Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga applauded police and encouraged the public to continue to report any suspicious behaviour in their neighbourhoods.
“We cannot allow criminals to commit crime on innocent law abiding citizens. We need to remove them from society so that people can live without any fear of being attacked. Our investigating team has been working around the clock and have followed up on all information in their endeavours to arrest the suspects. Their investigation and hard work has yielded results,” she said.