Local woman killed

2017-07-17 12:59
The home of 63-year-old Bellevue resident Maria Jacoba Greyling (inset), who was found dead in the garden.

The home of 63-year-old Bellevue resident Maria Jacoba Greyling (inset), who was found dead in the garden. (Ian Carbutt)

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A 63-year-old woman was found murdered at her home in the quiet Bellevue suburb, near Hayfields, allegedly by two gardeners she had hired.

Maria Jacoba Greyling’s body was discovered on Thursday lying in her garden with a wound to her head and a gash on the left side of her face.

The gruesome discovery was made by her son, Rudi Greyling, who visits her every Thursday.

According to police, a garden spade with blood stains was found at the scene. Mugs and food containers suspected to have been used by the alleged murderers were also found lying outside.

Alexandra police spokesperson Captain Kholeka Mhlongo said two cellphones, a tablet and gold bangles valued at R10 000 were taken.

“At this stage no arrests have been made. Two males were seen assisting the deceased in her garden on the day she was murdered.”

Mhlongo said police are investigating a case of murder.

Greyling’s son Rudi said he last spoke to his mother on Tuesday night.

“She informed me that she wanted to get one or two workers to sort out her garden. She loved her garden and it was always kept neat.”

Rudi, who lives in Boston, said every Thursday he travels to Pietermaritzburg to visit his mother and clean the garden for her.

“I told her not to hire anyone because it will alert people to the fact that she is by herself in the house.”

He said they suspect his mother was attacked on Wednesday afternoon around noon because neighbours had seen her before then.

“They attacked my mother with a flat spade on the head and it went into her skull. Then they ransacked the house and took some of her jewellery. Her body stayed in the garden the whole night,” he said.

Rudi said he tried calling his mother before making his way there on Thursday but she did not answer.

“I tried calling her and her phone was off. I came to the house at 1 pm and knew something wasn’t right. All the windows in the house were closed. I went around the house and found her body in the garden. The state she was in is a picture I will never forget.”

He said she had been living alone since his father died in 2005.

Greyling used to work in the finance department at Cedara Agricultural College and retired six years ago.

A neighbour and friend who could not contain her emotions said she had last seen Greyling on Wednesday morning.

“On Thursday I didn’t see her in the morning and I wondered where she could be. I went for a walk around 11 am and saw that her house was closed. Luckily I didn’t go into the garden or I would have made the discovery.”

The tearful neighbour said she had seen two men with Greyling on Wednesday.

“These boys were in her garden and she was showing them what to do. That was the last I saw of her.”

She said the murder had left residents in the area reeling with shock.

“It’s such a quiet neighbourhood and it’s very safe. I have been living here for 17 years and we have never had a murder.”

Avoid hiring off the street

Msunduzi Safe City manager Lucas Holtzhausen has warned Pietermaritzburg residents to avoid hiring people off the street.

“It is always dangerous hiring somebody whose background you don’t know. The rule of thumb should always be to hire someone that has been recommended by a friend or neighbour. Someone must know the person you are hiring.”

Holtzhausen said in case of emergencies it was difficult for authorities to run a security check on somebody the employer doesn’t know.

“It’s quite a process to get information on a person you got off the street. We highly recommend that prospective employers hire candidates they can trace. It is always good to observe a person for a couple of days for any suspicious behaviour before you make them permanent,” Holtzhausen said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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