At first, Eleanor Wyngaard’s family thought she had fainted. She was still, but they saw no blood. Moments before they had heard a commotion outside and found her lying on the ground.
But paramedics who arrived at the scene declared Ms Wyngaard dead, killed by a gunshot to her torso and another to her right leg.
On Friday July 22, hundreds of people gathered at Westridge High School to honour the memory of the 46-year-old Ms Wyngaard, who died in a hijacking incident at her Tenessee Street home two days before.
The memorial service was organised by the Metro South Education District where she had worked for five years as personal assistant to Circuit 1 manager Thandi Jafta.
Director of the Metro South Education District (MSED) Glen van Harte, welcomed those who had come to celebrate the life of Ms Wyngaard and mourn her passing, while Parkhurst Primary pupils and Andrea Persent, who also works at the MSED ofice, delivered song items.
Among those who paid tribute to Ms Wyngaard were her former colleague Neil de Waal; Mr Van Harte’s personal assistant, Noeleen Nefdt; Ms Wyngaard’s brother, Edgar Wyngaard, and Ms Jafta.
Mr Wyngaard said the family still mourning the loss of a daughter, sister, colleague and a loved family member.
“I still get the flashbacks of the incident that occurred on Wednesday evening. We were all at home and then heard a commotion and went out. The residents said they heard gunshots, but we didn’t.
“We all rushed outside and saw her lying on the ground. We then moved her inside; she wasn’t moving, and we saw no blood and thought she had fainted or knocked her head. We then opened her top and saw a small hole in her chest and as we looked further, saw blood on her leg too,” he said.
Mr Wyngaard said when the paramedics arrived at their home he had hoped that they would say his sister was still alive.
“We were extremely emotional when we heard that she died. It is still unbelievable. Eleanor was a beautiful person inside and out, and we will miss her voice and talkative personality.
“We would like to thank the education department for hosting the memorial service and thank you for being part of her life, making her happy,” he said.
Ms Jafta said when she had first met Ms Wyngaard about five years ago, the first thing she noticed was her smile.
Ms Jafta said Ms Wyngaard had a good work ethic and was responsible, reliable and dedicated.
“We will miss Eleanor, she was loved by everyone who met her. Her job was her second home and she would even spend her lunch at her desk. She was more than just a colleague, she was a friend and would even manage my life… what an organised woman. What happened to Eleanor was a tragedy. Our deepest condolences to the family,” said Ms Jafta.
Mitchell’s Plain police spokeswoman Constable Nozuko Makwayiba said Ms Wyngaard had been shot on Wednesday July 20, at about 10pm.
“On the police’s arrival they found a 46-year-old woman who was hijacked and fatally wounded with one gunshot on the chest and one to the right leg. The victim was shot twice at the back of the right chest and once above the right ankle and was declared dead,” she said.
Constable Makwayiba said Ms Wyngaard’s white Toyota Etios had been found but no arrests had yet been made.
Abie Isaacs, spokesman for Mitchell’s Plain Community Police Forum, said members of the CPF would like to convey their condolences to the family and condemn crime in the strongest way.
“It was a sad incident, and we are sorry for the loss. Crime is tearing our communities apart, and I am encouraging residents to speak up and report any information relating to the incident, (to the police).
“To SAPS, we are asking them to speed up the investigation and find the criminals. Then to the residents, be vigilant, hijacking, smash and grabs are common, so we are asking you to be cautious, especially when driving alone,” he said.
Anyone with information is asked tocontact investigating officer Detective Constable Bradley Schuurmaan on 021 370 1619.