Maria Groesbeek is hanged for the murder of her husband, Christian Buys


rope noose

Friday, 13 November 1970

Maria Groesbeek and Christian Buys were married in the 1950's. During their seventeen years of marriage they lived with Buys' mother and six brothers for seven years, after which they moved house fourteen times. Groesbeek claims that Buys constantly accused her of flirting with other men and used this as an excuse to beat her. Desperately unhappy, she met and fell in love with Buys' friend, Gerhard Groesbeek, a 20 year old railway worker. Wanting to marry him, she asked her husband for a divorce. When he refused, Groesbeek laced his food with arsenic. Ten weeks after murdering her husband, she married Gerhard Groesbeek.

Upon her arrest, Maria Groesbeek admitted to murdering her husband, stating that she wanted revenge for his refusal to grant her a divorce. After being sentenced to death by hanging on November 1969, Groesbeek was executed on 13 November 1970 at the age of 33.

• Adultery - Maria Groesbeek [online] Available at:  [Accessed 3 November 2009]
Wallis, F. 2000. Nuusdagboek: feite en fraste oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human&Rousseau.
World-wide hangings - Maria Groesbeek, South Africa. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 November 2009]

Last updated : 13-Nov-2013

This article was produced for South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011