Witbank police are investigating a case of murder after Laetitia Jakobs (45), a married mother of two young boys, was found in her kitchen on a smallholding in Witbank, Mpumalanga on Tuesday.

Sgt. Police spokesperson David Ratau said to media Wednesday that the police were called at the woman’s house in Springbok Street in Reynorif at about 11h00 after a neighbour came to her body. She was at home at the time of the attack on Tuesday. Her two sons were at school and her husband at work.

Jakobs operates a food cart from her premises and also sells dog food to the community. “The neighbour had been at her at 09h30 to get dog food. When he returned at about 11h30 to pay her for the dog food, he found her body on the kitchen floor.

Her face was covered with a cloth. Clothes and a sambok were found close to her body, “Ratau said. The neighbour immediately called the police and a murder investigation was launched.

“It is not known at this stage how many suspects were involved in the incident. It also looks like nothing has been stolen. She had a cuts on her nose and was suspected to be strangled. It can not be said with certainty whether she has been raped.

A post-mortem examination is being done to confirm everything, “Ratau added. Jakobs’s death is a huge shock to residents of the neighbourhood who border at the Dixon smallholdings.

“We live in fear every day and the crime rate is very high. Police were still on the scene when a teenager’s cellphone was robbed before the house, “said Laetitia Botha, a neighbour of Jakobs. Botha said her dogs were poisoned in her yard on Sunday.

“I could happily pass them and warned my neighbours to be prepared because dog poisoning is the first sign of burglary.”

Botha describes her neighbour as a merciful samaritan. “She was a beautiful woman and loved by the community. She would regularly dispatch food parcels to the needy of the nearby white squatter camp and help with money and loose work if people struggle.”

Botha said the community had a meeting with role players tonight to discuss safety issues in the area. Nobody has been arrested in connection with the murder.