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By Cornelia Le Roux

Digital Deputy News Editor

Deadly Klerksdorp car park assault latest: Attacker has allegedly left SA

Wernich Botha, the man accused of dealing what proved to be a deadly blow to Hilton Pretorius in a Klerksdorp assault, has allegedly left SA.

In a new development to the shocking saga, the family of assault victim Hilton Pretorius is believed to have been left outraged after his attacker and murder-accused, Wernich Botha, reportedly left the country for Somalia – just days after Pretorius’s death.

Pretorius passed away on 20 September in the Klerksdorp/Tshepong Hospital after sustaining severe brain injuries during the assault which unfolded in the parking lot of the Doringkruin Spar shopping centre on 2 September.

Klerksdorp assault: Accused faces murder charge

In confirming the passing of the 32-year-old father of two, North West police spokesperson Colonel Adéle Myburgh said at the time that Botha, who was initially arrested on 3 September for attempted murder and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, would now face a murder charge. 

Assault victim dies from brain injuries

Pretorius was in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator after the brutal assault left him with a cracked skull and bleeding on the brain.

The second victim, Klerksdorp businessman PW Roos, was allegedly knocked unconscious by Botha when he tried to intervene.

Botha appeared in the Klerksdorp Magistrate’s Court before the death of Pretorius on 11 September where he was released on R2 000 bail.

Botha returns to Somalia

News24 has reported that the 33-year-old, who is a maintenance manager for a private security outfit, left South Africa a few days after the death of Pretorius.

He is said to have returned to work at a secure camp for foreign nationals in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Charges related to Pretorius will be upgraded to murder at Botha’s next scheduled court appearance on 19 October.

Pretorius family: ‘We were lied to’

Botha’s departure however has angered the Pretorius family who, according to News24, claimed they have been “misled”.

“We were lied to. We were told that Wernich Botha had to surrender his passport. I spoke to the police, and they told me that they couldn’t confirm if he had left the country and that I should contact the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority] to get confirmation,” Pretorius’s brother, Danie, was quoted as saying by the publication.

“How could they not know where their only suspect was? We are very unhappy with the police [NPA] as they did not oppose his bail.”

Provincial NPA spokesperson Henry Mamothame told News24 that there were no restrictions attached to Botha’s movements and that the State had confirmed his employment in Somalia.

Deadly love triangle? Brutal assault captured on video

klerksdorp assault
Hilton Pretorius and Natasha Fischer. Photo: Facebook

Video footage of the shock incident – which insiders told Netwerk24 was allegedly triggered by a love triangle between Botha, his girlfriend and Pretorius – has been widely circulated on social media.

In one video, a woman with red hair identified as Botha’s girlfriend Natasha Fischer in various media reports, is seen running towards a blue Toyota Land Cruiser.

A man dressed in black, who has since been identified as Botha, exits the vehicle before he purposefully walks up to another man, Pretorius.

He knocks Pretorius with a forceful blow who falls to the ground where he lies unconscious and bleeding profusely from the head and face.

Pretorius will be laid to rest this coming Friday.

NOW READ: ‘Bloody love triangle’? Victim of brutal Klerksdorp parking lot assault dies

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