Kindness repaid with brutal attack in Extension 7

Christello van der Merwe's act of kindness would be his last.

A kind gesture would prove to be Christello van der Merwe’s (34) undoing after he allowed two men access to his home in order to have their cellphones charged on January 13.

Family member Stuart Holland says one of the men returned an hour later, informing van der Merwe that he could have the phone for R100.

After the money was handed over, Christello prepared to turn in for the night. A short while later, both men returned, demanding that he hand over the phone.

He refused and asked that they return the money at which they became belligerent, hurling vulgar language and threatening to do him physical harm.

According to Holland, one of the men wielded a knife, threatening to stab van der Merwe’s sister who had come out to defuse what she saw as a potentially explosive situation.

After severely assaulting van der Merwe with blows to the head and body, the pair were restrained by neighbours who intervened and loosened their dogs to scare off the attackers.

They finally left, but not without threatening to attack van der Merwe if they ever encountered him in the streets. The Extension Seven, Indiana Street resident,  was undeterred by their threats and went to his local spaza shop early the following morning.

He was met by the two, who, in what appears to have been a planned attack, cornered him and began severely beating him.

Witnesses say that the brutal attack consisted of kicks to the head and body, with one assailant purportedly aiming a rock at van der Merwe’s head and repeatedly pounding his head.

Neighbours managed to end the attack, and he was taken to Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital for treatment where he slipped into a coma as a result of the extensive brain injuries he incurred during the attack.

Since the attack, Christello did not regain consciousness and was pronounced dead on January 26 at 6am. A murder docket has been opened and the two have been arrested.

Despite the loss of their loved one, the van der Merwe and Holland families have come out in support of the Eldorado Park Police, thanking them for the expedience with which the culprits were apprehended and singled out brigadier Pieter van Dyk and especially investigating officer Calvin de Jaap for being a constant support to the family before Christello’s death and during this mourning period.

Watch video:

Stuart and Leeroy Holland express their thanks to the Eldorado Park Police for their swift response in apprehending the suspects.

Read related stories:
Grieving families speak out, Eldos
Clamping down on crime in Eldos

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