Sunday, June 21, 2009

Murder, madness, sadness and Father's Day

Sometimes the hideousness of Joburg’s “murder capital of the world” status literally makes people go crazy.
Today I watched a man, who must obviously have been a patient of Dr Mike Sprenger, say a prayer at the gate of the medical rooms in Rosettenville. It was here that the much-loved general practitioner was stabbed to death and had his practice set on fire on Thursday night. He then walked silently to his car and began hammering on the steering wheel and screaming. His anguished wails sounded more like those of a tortured animal than a human being.
It has been two days since Dr Michael Sprenger’s charred corpse was discovered in the fire sweeping his medical practice.
For a while today I stood at the gates of the medical practice where he has treated families in the area for the past 30 years. Between the plastic crime-scene cordons across the gate people had fastened bouquets and messages. The area remained locked off. No arrests have been made, and not even detectives seem to know why people would break in and murder a man who had apparently been sorting out medicines he dispensed to his patients.
It’s sad and insane and makes no sense. And that’s just to me, the journalist telling the story.
I have watched the murdered man’s patients cry, sob as they tried to describe him, pray and go mad.
I cannot imagine the pain suffered by the doctor’s wife, who is now a widow. Nor by his two sons and his little girl who will turn seven in two weeks. I understand that they had their own private memorial service at home today. And it’s Father’s Day!


  1. He was my GP for years. Mike was Mike. You waited for ever to see him but once it was your turn you forgot all about the waiting - he would have a good old chat about everything, he was just so down to earth I was on my way to fetch some meds friday morning when I heard about this very bad tragedy my whole weekend is just so sadden by this news I have even dialled his cell number a couple of times just to hear his voice - just cant believe this has happened. My heart goes out to his wife and three children. Dr Mike RIP.Helga

  2. Jozi Journo
    I took the liberty of placing your Blog comments and article with mine.
    Hope you agree with the outcome.
    Keep up the good work as a true "Citizen" of Jozi.
    Sonny Cox

  3. Thank you Sonny!
    Helga - I am so sorry.

  4. Its even more heartbreaking when there seems to be no reason for it!