'Kabul attack was well-orchestrated'

The attack began with a suicide bombing at the entrance to the compound before 2 gunmen attacked the family.

Empty bullet shells lying at the scene a day after an attack by Taliban militants on foreign aid workers, in Kabul, Afghanistan, on 30 November 2014. Picture: EPA.

PRETORIA - It's emerged the weekend attack against three South Africans murdered at a guesthouse in the Afghan capital by the Taliban was well-orchestrated and may have been the second attempt on their lives following a bomb blast last week.

The guesthouse was home to staff of the US-based charity Partnership in Academics and Development (PAD).

It is the third attack on a foreign guesthouse in 10 days.

Aid worker Werner Groenewald, his son Jean-Pierre (17) and daughter Rhode (15) died in the attack on Saturday in the capital Kabul.

Groenewald's wife Hannelie was not harmed because she was at the local hospital at the time where she works as a doctor.

Hannelie's sister, Riana du Plessis, says last week, her sister told her about a terror attack at their home but because of the high Taliban activity in the city, she didn't appear concerned.

"The bomb blast happened outside her room but she didn't feel her life was in danger."

Du Plessis says the well-planned attack started with a suicide bombing at the entrance to the compound before two gunmen attacked the family.

"They went upstairs and shot Werner again and then they shot the children."

It's understood South African authorities are helping Hannelie via their consulate in Pakistan.

Groenewald's family had lived in Afghanistan for nearly 12 years, with Werner running the charity and Hannelie working as a doctor at a Kabul clinic.

The Kabul police chief resigned on Sunday following the attack.

The latest Taliban attacks have dented confidence in the country's security force and added to concern the police and army will struggle to hold strategic territory after most foreign troops pull out at the end of 2014.

Violence across Afghanistan has surged this year as the Taliban and their allies have stepped up their activities ahead of the scheduled withdrawal of most international troops by the end of next month.

In separate attacks in Kabul, two American soldiers, two British embassy workers and dozens of Afghan civilians have died.


Du Plessis has dismissed the Taliban's claim that the family were Christian missionaries.

Hannelie's sister, says Groenewald, a former pastor from Pretoria, and his wife moved to Afghanistan in 2002 to help the community.

The Taliban claimed in a statement that the couple was converting Muslims to Christians, a claim du Plessis denies.

"They were not doing Christian work in the region."

This was the second time this year the Taliban targeted a group that it said had links to Christianity.

She says her sister is now trying to repatriate the bodies but is struggling because all her travel documents were destroyed in the attack.