Jackie du Preez, 53, also lost teeth and suffered a bloodied and swollen ear. She underwent surgery on her cheekbone and told Netwerk24 that she is doing okay under the circumstances.
Du Preez was assaulted and robbed in her studio near the Gourits River bridge between Mossel Bay and Albertinia last Monday.
The five teenagers – between the ages of 16 and 19 – were arrested on the day of the attack. They appeared in the Mossel Bay Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday. The case was postponed to July 6 for a bail application.
The teens had escaped from Huis Outeniqua House, a shelter for minors awaiting trial, in George the previous week.
Du Preez was discharged from hospital on Tuesday and visited her home for the first time since the attack on Wednesday to check on her cats.
Her brother, Dries Booyens, said she had been assaulted with a rock.
“When I saw her for the first time after the incident, I almost did not recognise her. The entire incident is very difficult for her to process, and is a blow to her.”
The police said the teenagers had first asked Du Preez for water.
“They walked on, but went back again and attacked the woman. They took several items, including jewellery,” said police spokesperson Captain Malcolm Pojie.
They were arrested after Albertinia police officers spotted them walking along the N2 highway with black bags.
Meanwhile, a friend discovered Du Preez in her home and called the police.
Her brother said Du Preez lived alone and painted for a living. Her two children were shocked by the incident.
“What makes the family very unhappy is that the alleged offenders were supposed to be in a place of safety. I will certainly take the matter further,” Booyens said.
It is not known how the five suspects escaped.
Johan Pienaar, spokesperson for the Department of Correctional Services, said Huis Outeniqua is not managed by the department.
The Western Cape Department of Social Development is responsible for the centre. It did not respond to media inquiries on Wednesday.