Tragedy struck on Monday night after an elderly man tried in vain to tear their pit bull from his wife as it mauled her to death in Port Elizabeth.

Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg, police spokesperson said an inquest docket has since been opened.

Belinda Jonker, 64, died on the scene.

According to Janse van Rensburg, at about 9.30pm on Monday, as Jonker and her husband were leaving their house in Summerville Street, Morningside, the family dog attacked her.

She said “The deceased [Jonker] had difficulty getting into the car. While her husband was busy assisting her, their four-year-old pit bull attacked her.

Janse van Rensburg said “Her husband tried to get the dog off but was unable to assist his wife”. The man, 66, alerted his neighbours, who finally managed to pull the dog off the woman and tie him to a tree.

She added that “Jonker sustained several wounds and was declared deceased on the scene. “Animal Anti-Cruelty League was called to remove the dog from the house”.