‘Unusual murder’ case postponed

Hilary van Rooyen was found dead in her Eversdal home.

The case of a 23-year-old Welgemoed man accused of killing his friend’s mother has been postponed to September.

Gehard (Regard) Groenewald was arrested in Welgemoed on Tuesday May 23 after the body of 53-year-old Hilary van Rooyen was found by one of her sons in her Eversdal home on Tuesday May 9 (“Police investigate ‘unusual’ murder”, Northern News May 18).

Mr Groenewald first appeared in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Colin Jacks on Wednesday May 24.

He was released on R3000 bail and had to hand in his passport. When he appeared again on Thursday August 17, his bail was extended until Friday September 22.

Shortly after Ms Van Rooyen was found dead, Durbanville police spokesman Colonel Theo Fisher said the case was unusual because “there were no signs of forced entry and only a cellphone was stolen”.

A local shop-owner called the police on the day, after seeing a mysterious person on CCTV footage at the Van Rooyens’ home. The police examined the footage, which showed a person in a hoodie and sunglasses entering the property after 11am and leaving about 40 minutes later.

A Facebook page, In Loving Memory of Hilary Anne van Rooyen, has been created where friends and loved ones share messages and memories of Ms Van Rooyen.

On Tuesday August 9, Louise du Toit wrote: “My beautiful friend… It’s been three months since you were taken from all of us. Still doesn’t seem real, but I feel you shining down on us. Love you always.”

Another wrote: “Such a special person – spent many happy hours watching hockey together and she was always cheerful and encouraging, and oh so proud of her boys. Love and prayers for Derick, Dean and Luke.”