A man made his initial court appearance at the Gqeberha Magistrate’s Court on Monday, following the alleged murder of a 40-year-old physiotherapist named Marolien Schmidt.
The incident occurred at her residence in Richmond Hill on Women’s Day.
Authorities took Simxolele Zitshu into custody within 24 hours of Marolien Schmidt’s murder.
Reports by News24 confirm that Schmidt was found in a pool of blood at the foot of her stairs by her neighbours, who heard glass breaking and screaming moments before rushing to Schmidt’s aid.
Having incurred multiple stab wounds, Marolien died on arrival at the hospital.
Simxolele Zitshu, the accused who appeared in court on Monday, is facing three charges for murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and housebreaking with intent to steal and theft. According to information revealed by the court, the accused has had serious run-ins with the law, including previous convictions for murder and robbery.
During his appearance in court on Monday, the suspect said he would represent himself without Legal Aid representation. The case was postponed to Tuesday (August 14) for a bail application, with strong indications from Prosecutor Melani Hammett that she intends to oppose the accused’s bail release.
A group gathered outside of the courtroom in solidarity for Marolion, seeking justice for the victim who was a beloved member of the Richmond Hill community. Amongst the group was ward councillor and Schmidt’s neighbour, Terri Stander. As quoted by News24, Stander said:
“She fought for her patients, she fought for her fellow physiotherapists, so we are here to fight for her. She was a very special lady,”
“Marolien wanted her life to be celebrated, not mourned so we are not mourning here. She was a very strong proponent of justice so we are standing here in solidarity with that strong value of hers and we want justice for Marolien,”.
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