Umhlanga woman murdered

2013-04-24 00:00

AN Umhlanga woman who lived alone with her cat was found dead in her house yesterday morning.

It was not clear when the woman, who was 63, was killed, but neighbours believe it could have been in the early hours of Monday morning.

She was found naked with her mouth gagged and her feet and hands bound,

A gardener who works in a block of flats across the road from the woman’s house and who sometimes helped her take out her rubbish told The Witness he became worried when he phoned her and she didn’t pick up her phone.

“I owed her R50 and I wanted to return it to her. She didn’t pick up the phone on Monday, and this morning when I didn’t see her, I went to the lady who lives next door and asked her to phone her and check if everything was alright,” Vusi Shozi said.

Seeing a broken window from the other side of the fence, Shozi and the neighbour, who gave her name only as Kim, went inside the yard to try and find out more.

“I then went around the back, and I could see that the TV cabinet had been moved,” he said.

They called the police, who arrived to find the woman naked, gagged and bound.

Shozi said he had never seen anything like it in the 17 years he had worked in the neighbourhood.

“There is the odd break-in now and then, but there’s never been a murder,” he said.

Another neighbour described the woman as a quiet, reserved person who kept to herself and looked after her cat.

“She was a spinster and had no children. We’re trying to find her sister, but since she was married, we don’t know what surname she took,” he said.

The woman had lived in the same house with her parents and inherited it when her mother, her last known living relative, died, he said.

Next-door neighbour Kim said the security at the woman’s home was “non-existent”.

“It was an easy break-in. They knew that she was living alone,” she told The Witness.

She said she had tried to convince her neighbour to sell up and move into a more secure home.

Kim added: “When you get to a certain age, you do not live in a freestanding home with bad security.”

The woman had posted a message on a website for avid cat lovers looking for pen pals.

“I would love cat lovers from all over to write to me. I love cats as they are with you all the time and my cat sleeps with me.

“I have one black and white cat and my hobbies are writing, travel and cats in general. I have been reading All About Cats magazine for many years. I collect cat things, teddy bears, candles, souvenirs, teaspoons, seashells, magnets etc. Please write me letters,” she wrote.

Police would not comment on the murder yesterday as their crime administration system was offline.

The murder follows that of prominent businessman Nhlanhla Gasa, who was killed at home in Umhlanga and his body dumped into the Tugela River last month.

Following a number of reports about vicious crime in Hillcrest and surrounding communities in KwaZulu-Natal, Premier Zweli Mkhize will hold a community dialogue with residents in the affected areas. It will be held at 9am today in the City Hill Church Auditorium in Hillcrest.

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