Monday, September 28, 2015

31-year-old woman shot dead by police ex-boyfriend before turning the gun on himself

31-year-old Zaheda Peters died on Saturday, September 26 after her ex boyfriend, Warrant Officer Nevell du Toit, 44, shot her twice outside her Strand home in Strand, South Africa on September 14.

After pumping a bullet into her shoulder and head and leaving her for dead in the street, Du Toit ended his own life with his service pistol. The mother of two at first showed signs of recovery, but later her condition deteriorated dramatically and on Saturday afternoon her life support was switched off.

 Du Toit is alleged to have turned violent after discovering that Peters was romantically involved with a young 22-year-old rugby player. Days before the attack, Du Toit, who is also the coach of Macassar Rugby B-team, allegedly threatened to shoot both Peters and her new lover.

Shortly after the shooting, Du Toit’s twin brother Neil du Toit revealed that the cop had left behind suicide letters explaining his actions. Neil would not reveal the exact details contained in the letters, except to say that his brother was under immense stress and that he apologised for dying in such a cowardly manner.

The officer was buried last Saturday from the Sidney Kuhn Hall, next to the Macassar police station where he worked. On Sunday, Peters’s family spoke emotionally about how they thought she would pull through. Speaking to the Daily Voice just moments before her funeral, Peters’s uncle Noor Rhode said he cannot believe he will never see her again.

Rhode said: "She was an amazing person who sparked life and love into everything she touched. We thought she was going to make it, but it was not meant to be." Peters had been making slow progress after doctors removed her one eye after the shooting.

Rhode said doctors at the Vergelegen Mediclinic contacted the family last Thursday to let them know that in spite of the progress she had made after having her eye removed, her condition was deteriorating. "She had opened her one eye and looked around, and the colour had returned to her face. She was getting better, we thought.

They called on Thursday to ask us to prepare as she was slipping away and the following 24 hours would be crucial.

On Saturday, doctors confirmed Zaheda was brain dead and asked the family to come and say their final goodbyes. I could not believe it. It was a very hard thing to do. I travel a lot and she would always be there to get me at the airport. Always a hug and love. I will never have that again. She is gone from us now, as the Almighty wills it," he added tearfully. Rhode said the whole family was devastated, but they have forgiven Peters’s killer. "This was not decided by man... we hold no grudges against him [Du Toit]. She lived as long as she was meant to. We have lots of questions, but they may never be answered. She will be greatly missed.

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