Southport man slain

2011-05-10 00:00

A PENSIONER was found robbed and murdered in his Southport home in Port Shepstone yesterday.

Pete Smith (84) usually spends his Sundays relaxing with his friend, who would come to his house routinely. This week, however, his friend found him lying dead in a pool of blood in the bathroom.

Smith appeared to have been bludgeoned to death by his attacker or attackers with a bush knife found near his body.

His friend (whose name cannot be disclosed) alerted the police who attended the scene to find the doors open and two open safes. Smith appeared to have lacerations on his face and deep wounds on his neck and head, according to Lieutenant-Colonel Zandra Wiid of the SA Police Force in Port Shepstone.

“A bloodied bush knife appears to be the murder weapon and an undisclosed amount of cash was taken. The victim lived alone and was a widower,” she said.

Wiid said a sugarcane field at the back of the house would have provided easy escape for the attackers.

Police have warned people, especially pensioners who live alone, not to offer employment to strangers.

“Old people are often desperate for help and will look no further than outside their gates for someone to cut the grass or paint etc. Being already vulnerable because of their age, the victims make for very soft targets — every precaution needs to be taken. Family members ought to regularly check up on their elders also,” she said.

Quinton Gouveia, administrator at the Anerley Haven Centre for the Frail and Aged, said the South Coast and Port Shepstone in particular have more pensioners than other communities since younger people prefer to work in the big cities.

“The older people are left behind to take care of themselves, and often it’s because they insist on it. Many of them want to be independent even though they need assistance,” he said.

“The danger is that they are vulnerable to criminal elements and without assistance in the case of an emergency.”

Gouveia said a facility like his is an option when there is no other.

“We look after the old and frail and give them the best possible care. The onus is with the families to either take care of their aged or admit them into a home. Leaving them alone should not be an option if they are vulnerable.”

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