Eveline de Klerk
Swakopmund-The elderly Strzelecki couple that was viciously assaulted at their home in Swakopmund on Wednesday, leading to the death of the wife following the attack on them, knew at least three of the four attackers.
It is understood that two of the three suspects arrested, aged 39 and 24, had previously done work at the elderly couple’s home in Richthofen Street, Vineta.
The third man – believed to be the main suspect – also recently did some renovations for the couple.
Roswitha Strzelecki, 79, was assaulted and strangled by the intruders during the ordeal. Her 82-year-old husband, Siegfried, also sustained injuries, but survived the attack.
Two former employees were subsequently arrested on suspicion that they may have assisted the two main suspects in carrying out the deadly attack on the elderly couple.
Allegations are that the four suspects – who are due to appear in the Swakopmund Magistrate’s Court today on charges of murder, assault, robbery and theft – made copies of the couple’s home and safe keys, which they later used during the robbery.
Deputy Commissioner Erastus Iikuyu on Wednesday said the four suspects attacked the couple between 08h00 and 09h00 on Wednesday at their residence in Richthofen Street, Vineta.
He said a duplicate key was used to gain entrance to their residence.
“The wife was attacked first by the suspects, who entered the room she was occupying at that stage.
“According to our preliminary investigation, she must have been grabbed by the neck and her head slammed against a wall, after which she was strangled to death,” Iikuyu said during the media briefing.
He further said Roswitha’s husband, who was in another room at the time, heard the commotion and went to investigate the source of the commotion. The octogenarian was soon overpowered though and threatened with knives by the suspects, who wore masks, but he recognised one of them as one who recently did renovations at their house.
The suspects also tried to open the couple’s safe with a key that they might have taken while working at the house. However, the couple had already changed the lock on the safe.
Iikuyu went on to say the intruders severely assaulted Strzelecki and then tied him up. The robbers, however, only managed to take a phone valued at N$8,000, N$1,000 in cash, a remote control of the house, and a pair of sandals belonging to the murdered woman.
Iikuyu said following the attack, Siegfried Strzelecki managed to untie himself and then alerted the neighbours. They in turn called the police and paramedics, who declared Strzelecki’s wife dead at the scene.
The fourth suspect in connection with the robbery and murder of Roswitha Strzelecki was arrested on Thursday morning in the DRC on the northeastern outskirts of Swakopmund. The other three suspects were rounded up on Wednesday and will be brought before court today.