Slain wife had 55 wounds, court hears

inlPicsCopy of st main filer jon jon groenewald (88600950) INDEPENDENT MEDIA Jon Jon Groenewald, who is accused of murdering Landia Coetzee, appeared in the Alexandra Magistrate's Court on Tuesday. Picture: Simone Kley

Johannesburg - A pathologist counted 55 wounds on Landia Coetzee’s body after she was found dead in the Midrand townhouse she shared with her former husband.

Jon Jon Groenewald, 41, the former husband, has pleaded not guilty in the Alexandra Magistrate’s Court to the murder of Coetzee, 23, in March 2014 by stabbing her with a pair of scissors.

“There was a total of 55 incised wounds.

“These wounds were distributed mostly on the upper body,” said Dr Gabisile Phala, who carried out the post-mortem.

One wound was on Coetzee’s face and 13 were on her neck.

These included the fatal wound on her lower neck, which cut a main vein and artery, penetrated the upper chest and punctured a lung, which collapsed.

Phala said there was 2 litres of blood in Coetzee’s chest.

“With such an amount of blood there is no chance of survival,” she said.

Phala described a wound on Coetzee’s outer arms as consistent with defensive wounds.

“The deceased was raising her arms in order to protect herself,” Phala said.

There was also broken glass on the body, scratches, bruises and a “stamp abrasion”, probably from a boot.

Under cross-examination, Phalatold defence lawyer Jannie Kruger that the broken glass did not seem to be a result of being hit with an object.

She would not be drawn on what caused the wounds, but said it was a sharp object.

When Kruger asked if this could include scissors, a knife or broken glass, she said it could.

“The only conclusion we can make is that they were made by a sharp object,” said Phala.

Later after a court break, Kruger told the court he was withdrawing as Groenewald’s representative.

“I dumped him,” Kruger told The Star later.

“There was a misunderstanding between the two of us and a break in trust.”

The case resumes on Thursday.

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The Star

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