“You never get over it,” said South African author Dianne Case as she waited for a man, who she had initially tried to help, to appear in court for allegedly stabbing her and hijacking her car
Wedged between a protective row of her daughters and friends in the Wynberg Regional Court, the author of books such as Madam,This is Annie and 92 Queens Road cut a determined figure as she waited for Tyrone Prinsloo to emerge from the holding cells.
“I still have nightmares,” she said.
The Woodstock-born writer’s books include stories about ordinary people navigating their way through apartheid’s laws.
“My mom always raised us to believe in the good in people,” said her daughter Maxine on the sidelines of the case.
“She volunteered at Pollsmoor [Prison] for 10 years. She nagged to get a computer lab put in for the inmates.”
The matter that brought Case to the court involves her offering Prinsloo accommodation in exchange for carpentry work at a house, in the hopes of giving him a leg up during a difficult time.
He is understood to be the nephew of a police officer, and the agreement was that he would do some carpentry at the property and then live in it with his family.
GroundUp reported previously that he allegedly did not do the work, and Case put the the money she had paid him upfront for the work behind her. She found a new tenant for the property and moved on.
However, in November last year, he allegedly arrived at her home and said he was there to pay her back.
While driving him to fetch the money, he allegedly turned on her. She was stabbed multiple times, but managed to get out of the vehicle and run, covered in blood.
Her daughter Bonita told News24 that, a few months before the attack, her mother, who is in her 60s, had decided to get fit and had been exercising regularly. She thinks this gave her mother the strength to fight.
A passing motorist saw what was happening and stopped to help. Her attacker sped off in her car.
Covered in blood, Case was rushed to hospital. On Thursday, the plasters she had worn previously were removed but, for Case, the emotional healing is taking longer.
When a neatly dressed Prinsloo appeared in the dock, it was fleeting, as the case was postponed to June 20 for a new lawyer to get the particulars of the case.
He has been denied bail. As Prinsloo left the dock to go back to the cells, he turned around and looked deep into the public gallery.
He faces two charges of attempted murder, and a charge of hijacking.
SA History Online says Case wrote her first novel in 1981, Albatross Winter. It is described as a story about the life of a young child from a disadvantaged community on the Cape Flats. It won her the Maskew Miller Young Africa Literary award.
In March 2018, Nigel and Johannes Plaatjiee were sentenced to life in prison for the murder and robbery of Wellington author Winnie Rust. Rust had been mentoring and financially assisting Plaatjies.