HORRIFIC TRAGEDY IN JOHANNESBURG: Jewish Psychologist Murdered During Yom Kippur Home Invasion


Well-known psychologist and community member from the Jewish community of Johannesburg, Dr. Miriam Wilks, 69, was R”L stabbed and killed during a home invasion incident that took place on Yom Kippur. Wilks, a former Israeli, is renowned for her research into hate crimes, trauma and violence. She was killed in a violent manner, having been stabbed 12 times and having her throat slashed. Her husband found her body when he returned home from shul.

The thief stole two laptops and a cell phone.

The Wilks family issued a statement to the press: “We regret to announce the passing of Mirah (Miriam) who was killed during a violent criminal act that took place inside her own home. Mirah was stabbed by a single home-invader who gained access to the house through the roof. A struggle ensued and she was stabbed. Police are investigating the incident. We will be providing them with all of the help that we can in order to solve the crime and find the assailant.”

Wilks was born in Israel and moved to Australia at a young age. She finished her studies there and moved with her husband and two children to South Africa. She worked as a clinical psychologist for 12 years and then became a lecturer in Psychology in University.

According to local community members and staff from the University, she was well loved by the community and by her peers at the university.

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  1. BDE My family mostly left SA years ago due to living in apartheid and then the crime. The ones who stay live in gilded cages where they are pashas behind gates, barbed wire and private security.

  2. I lived in Johannesburg during the Apartheid era. Crimes like this were unknown. One look at Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia, is a glimpse into what awaits the Republic of South Africa. If there was ever a modern country for Jews to flee, South Africa is it.

  3. I expect the investigation to reveal this as a targeted murder disguised as a burglary. 12 stabs plus a cut neck is way too aggressive for a break in. The 2 laptops and cell phone were taken to disguise the crime.


    One of my colleagues from Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn had lived in SA for many years when his father had a rabbinical position there. At that time (around 35 years ago), he emphatically told me that (then) SA was a very clean stable country with virtually no crime — as the wicked liberalism & corruption of the (so-called) “Modern World” had not yet reached there. Very unfortunately, today, it is obvious that the situation there is totally different.