Mareo was stabbed to death allegedly because he fended off this dog with a stick

Getrude Makhafola

Getrude Makhafola

A man was stabbed at least six times - and died on the spot - reportedly because he tried to fend off a dog that attacked him.

Witnesses said Sampie Mareo fought off the dog with a walking stick when the animal tried to maul him.

As the dog ran back into its owner's yard, Godfrey Siko rushed at Mareo, knife in hand, shouting, "Why did you kick my dog? It's my dog", neighbour William Ratema told Sowetan yesterday.

The incident, at Sonderwater informal settlement near Potchefstroom, took place on Monday.

Siko has appeared in court and is in custody. He will apply for bail on December 28.

Ratema said Siko was very angry when he attacked Mareo.

"He just went after the man and started stabbing him in the chest until he fell to the ground.

"It was horrible," said Ratema.

Maggie Molaodi said the incident had traumatised her.

"He stabbed Mareo so brutally that I could not even look. I called the neighbours to come and help.

"He struck him repetitively until Mareo lost his balance and fell to the ground. He bled profusely," said Molaodi.

Ratema said Siko kept to himself and his animals.

"He never greets or talks to anybody and does not get any visitors. He is just an unfriendly old man who lives alone."

Mareo's wife, Martina Meyer, said her husband was "a peace-loving man who liked to make people laugh. Now that devil took away his life. This is unforgivable."

The police's investigating officer, Inspector Amos Maabane, said: "There are previous convictions, including murder, against Siko, and he did tell me that he has an outstanding case of assault against him.

"Everything will be made clear in court when he appears for a bail application."