Attacked with panga, but woman now looks ‘attacker’ in the eyes

Henry

It has been more than a year since she was brutally attacked with a panga, but when Lorraine Prinsloo thinks about that day, she relives the absolute trauma.

Despite this, the 57-year-old Prinsloo was at the magistrate’s court in Groblersdal in Limpopo early this week, where her alleged attacker was to be tried.

“It is very difficult for me to be here today. It feels like I have a glow in me, the water is running off me… Monday was the first time I had to look him in the eyes,” she says.

Lorraine then goes on to say: “At first I didn’t want to look at him, but then the children said I should do it and get over it. And I looked at him and it felt to me ‘I can’t; I can’t’ for this person look what hurt me so much.”

She refers to Victor Seroka (34) who, according to the indictment, is facing charges of burglary with the intent to steal, trespassing, animal cruelty, robbery with aggravating circumstances and an alternative charge of attempted murder.

The trial, which was supposed to be held on Wednesday and Thursday, was postponed until later this year. Lorraine was devastated when she was told that the case could not be heard because Seroka’s legal representative was ill.

On 23 December 2022, Lorraine was ambushed on the family farm outside Groblersdal and repeatedly hit over the head with a panga. Her hands were cut where she tried to ward off the blows that rained down on her.

On that day, she was busy in the kitchen preparing for the Christmas dinner. Her husband, Michael, left home early in the morning after the alarm went off at their son’s house, also on the farm.

While Michael was gone, Seroka allegedly stopped Lorraine in the house.

All she remembers are the blows that kept falling. She only realized later that she had slipped in her own blood, as she was forced to look for money.

“He wanted matches and shoes too,” recalls Lorraine.

In the couple’s bedroom, she took sneakers and threw them out the window.

“I told him, ‘there, there are your shoes’.”

Just outside the room is a kind of safe door, which was installed precisely for security reasons. Lorraine swung the door shut and hid, after which her attacker fled.

Lorraine was initially refused access to the court this week and then the trial, which was to continue in the regional court, was postponed.

Meanwhile, Lorraine is still struggling with feeling in her legs, as well as the right side of her head. After the attack, she had to get more than 240 stitches in her head.

“Here is my counselor, she has been helping me for ten months now. The matter is not easy for me.”