Bloem’s house of sorrow

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The house of the Schoonwyk family in Bloemside where both Susan and her eldest son died, is situated just a few metres away from where her youngest son had drowned. Photo: Pierce van Heerden

A close relative of Susan Schoonwyk, who had been murdered in her house in Bloemside in the early hours of 23 January 2019, will appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Friday 8 February in connection with Schoonwyk’s death.

The 23-year-old suspect was arrested at the Bloemspruit Police Station on Tuesday. The suspect’s identity is known to Bloemfontein Courant, but may not be published before the suspect’s appearance in court.

The court case will hopefully signal the end of a long period of sorrow for the Schoonwyk family. In 2012 Schoonwyk tragically lost her 20-year-old son, Maundre, who hanged himself in her home. Two years later her 7-year-old son, Karabo, landed in a canal near their home and was washed away by a strong current. His body was found a week later. And now a relative is in police custody in connection with Schoonwyk’s murder.

Maundre Shaundre “Fouks” Schoonwyk (20) hanged himself two years before the tragic death of Karabo in their home in Bloemside.

On the day of Schoonwyk’s murder, Bloemfontein Courant had an interview with the suspect, who told the paper a detailed story of what had occurred on the unfortunate morning of the murder.

The suspect told Courant hours after the murder that Schoonwyk’s house in Geelvis Avenue in Bloemside was a popular target for house robberies as she had had four break-ins in just a single month.”I was sleeping in the other room when I heard something and asked Schoonwyk if everything was alright. She yelled that I should grab my child and run. So I did, and on my way out I pressed the alarm button, not knowing what was going on or how many intruders there were inside the house. I then ran to a neighbour’s house where I asked for help and waited for the authorities to arrive. I have no idea who it was,” the suspect concluded the interview with Courant.

The body of Karabo Schoonwyk (7) was found in Bloem Spruit after he had fallen into a canal just a metre away from his home. His body was discovered a week later on 2 December 2014.

Schoonwyk, who was described by many as a quiet and loving person, was fatally stabbed in what was said to be a burglary at first. After investigations, however, it has come to light that she might have been brutally murdered by a person very close to her.

According to police spokesperson, Sergeant Ikobeng Hlubi, it was believed at the time of the incident that intruders had entered the deceased’s house and attacked her. “As investigations continued, however, all fingers pointed back to the suspect, who alleged that Schoonwyk was stabbed while trying to protect her family,” Sergeant Hlubi wrote in a statement.

Susan Schoonwyk, who was murdered on 23 January 2019 in her home in Bloemside. PHOTOS: FACEBOOK

The motive for the murder is not yet known. Schoonwyk was laid to rest on Saturday 2 February 2019. – Pierce van Heerden
pierce@mahareng.co.za