Man arrested in connection with murder of Cradock woman

A 42-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the brutal murder of Patricia ‘Paddy’ Orpen
CRADOCK LEGEND: A 42-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the brutal murder of Patricia ‘Paddy’ Orpen
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A former gardener was arrested on Saturday morning in connection with the brutal murder of a 78-year-old Cradock woman on her farm on May 5.

Patricia Orpen was found dead on the farm, Morgenson, about 10km outside Cradock, at about 11am by her daughter, Jacqui Murray.

Orpen, known by her friends as “Paddy”, was found in her bedroom with multiple stab wounds.

Her handbag was missing from the house as well as her bakkie, which was later found abandoned and partially burnt out in the Cradock industrial area.

Nearly a month later, on May 29, Ena de Lange, 74, and her daughter Anita, 45, were attacked on their farm De Kloof, west of Cradock.

Ena and Anita both survived the ordeal, after a man wearing a balaclava allegedly pushed Ena to the ground, and started to throttle her and brought a knife to her neck before running off when an alarm was triggered.

On Sunday, police spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana said the gardener, 42, who had worked for Orpen, had been arrested by Cradock police.   

The man is expected to appear in the Cradock Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of murder and malicious damage to property.

An upset  Murray said it was a tough and sad time for her and her sisters, but she was happy that a suspect had been arrested.

“[I believe the police are] trying hard, given the limitations and constrictions facing them in the prevailing times we live in,” Murray said.

She said she believed the arrest would help prevent the same thing from happening to someone else.

Anita de Lange said she was pleased to hear about the arrest.

“Progress is good but there needs to be a conviction first and the perpetrators must stay in jail,” she  said.

 Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga welcomed the arrest.

“I wish to thank members of the community who continue to provide their unwavering support to our investigators.

“Fighting crime, especially crimes against women, children and the elderly, remains our collective responsibility.

“We can only reap these positive outcomes when we join hands and confront our enemy head-on,” Ntshinga said.