Victim Anton Heunis (left) and murder accused Paulus du Plessis
Two men have been knifed to death in a bizarre killing spree in Pretoria that has left friends and family puzzled as to the motive.
On Saturday, Niko du Plooy (52) hosted two friends, Xavier Anton Heunis (46) and Paulus Petrus du Plessis (23) at his home in Valhalla for a braai.
According to Du Plooy, the other two men were unemployed and were roommates at the Sonskynhoekie homeless shelter.
Du Plooy told Mambaonline that he had previously had a relationship with Du Plessis and had become friends with Heunis in the last year.
“Anton [Heunis] was crazy about the guy [Du Plessis] and he had asked me some personal questions about our relationship and I told him what he asked,” said Du Plooy. “I decided to go fetch them from the shelter [that day].”
According to Du Plooy, at some point in the evening Du Plessis allegedly became violent for no apparent reason.
“The next moment he grabbed a knife and said to Anton ‘ I will kill you with this knife’. And Anton said ‘go ahead, what’s stopping you’ – and he did it,” claims a still shocked Du Plooy.
Du Plessis is alleged to have stabbed Heunis in the head and then slit his throat. “He did it in front of me. And he said to me ‘I love you so much I will kill for you.'”
Du Plessis is then alleged to have turned on Du Plooy who suffered minor cuts to his hands and face. He was able to flee from the house and call the police.
It then appears that Du Plessis went to a caravan on the property that was being rented out to a tenant who was sleeping at the time. It’s alleged that he also stabbed that man, who has not been identified, to death.
Family friend Lucia Nepgen told Mambaonline that when police first arrived on the scene Du Plessis feigned being dead in the caravan, leading the authorities to at first believe that there were three bodies on the property.
She claims that he was only arrested later when he was discovered showering the blood off in the house.
Du Plooy insists that Du Plessis’ attack was completely unprovoked and that there had been no argument or contentious discussion at the time.
He is mystified as to the motive, although admitting that his former lover could have had some kind of fit of jealously.
Du Plooy, who is in a new relationship, told Mambaonline that he and Du Plessis had been in love with each other but that he had ended the affair.
“I loved him a lot. We broke up because my family opposed it because he wrote off my car,” said Du Plooy, “but we were friends”.
“Was he jealous of me? Was he jealous of the straight guy who was in the caravan?” he asked. Du Plooy also claims that “Anton had made a pass at [Du Plessis]” but he wasn’t sure if the advances were returned.
Mambaonline received reports that Du Plessis had spent time in prison and had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, but Du Plooy said that he had no knowledge of this.
Du Plessis has been arrested for double homicide and attempted murder and is expected to appear in court shortly.
Alex Spies, who was a close friend of Heunis, has asked for donations towards his funeral.
“He was a fabulous person. He was my best friend. He was always there for me. We looked after each other,” said an emotional Spies, who had to identify the body on Monday.
He added that Heunis would have appreciated any help that the community could offer towards the funeral. “He is being cremated and we’re having a service within three weeks,” he said.
Please contact Spies on 071 500 2994 if you can help.