Couple brutally slain in 'savage' attack

2016-01-20 10:21
David Strauss.

David Strauss. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - A Zululand couple were brutally murdered in a home invasion on Monday.

David Strauss, 76, and his frail wife Ann, 73, living in KwaMbonambi, were killed in an attack described by their family as “savage”.

However, the local community has lauded the police for the quick work done in arresting one of the suspects just hours after the attack.

Daughter Jenny Harrison said the brutality of the attack was awful.

“I viewed both bodies and it was clear that these murderers took their time. From visiting the house we could see there was a struggle and that at one stage my mother must have locked herself in a room which they forced their way into. I still cannot believe what they did to this frail old woman,” said a tearful Harrison.

According to police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane, the killers “accosted the couple, tied them up, robbed them and killed them before fleeing”.

They were found with stab wounds and there was evidence that their home was ransacked, he said.

Police arrested one suspect by chance while searching for another man wanted on a theft charge.

The suspect, 21, was found in possession of a pistol belonging to Strauss, as well as a wallet with cards and other suspected stolen property.

He said this led them to Glendower Crescent, KwaMbonambi, where they found the gruesome murder scene.

David’s sister, Margaret Nel, who lives in Pietermaritzburg, said her brother and sister-in-law were “wonderful people”.

“Justice doesn’t bring them back but the small mercies are good,” said Nel.

David attended Merchiston Primary and Maritzburg College, and had worked in the agricultural sector in the Midlands.

“He was an extremely good draughtsman, with his job taking him across the country and even into Zimbabwe, where he met Ann,” said Nel.

She said David and Ann, who had four children each from previous marriages and one daughter together, had been together since the 1980s.

Harrison said she could not have “wished for a better mother”.

“She raised us single-handedly until she met David. She was so good to people and animals and would not hurt a fly,” she said.

The arrested suspect will be charged with murder, unlawful possession of a ­firearm and possession of suspected stolen property. He will appear in the ­KwaMbonambi Magistrate’s Court soon.

KwaMbonambi residents who spoke to The Witness said the murders had put ­everyone in the village “on edge”, with people wondering what they could do to prevent further such crimes.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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