Stabbing leaves mission puzzled

2010-07-27 00:00

RESIDENTS of Ashburton are still puzzled by the killing of an elderly man who recently threatened to tackle criminals head-on who had stolen from a church.

The man, who had been living in an informal settlement outside Ashburton Mission, died at the Edendale Hospital after he was apparently stabbed several times. It is believed that he was attacked in Lynnfield Park on July 14.

A number of residents from the informal settlement and at the mission attended his funeral on Saturday in Snathing. He was buried without a murder docket being opened.

The docket was only opened yesterday after Stuart Knight, who is co-director at the mission, intervened to request an investigation.

“Police have to exhume the body because a person cannot be buried without a murder case being opened,” said Knight.

Knight said the man was killed after he had accused three men from the informal settlement of having stolen meat worth R65 from the mission.

“We were busy praying two Sundays ago at church when this man just stood up and asked us to stop praying. He then told us that he was going to deal with three young guys from the squatter camp if they didn’t stop stealing from the mission,” said Knight.

He said that after the church service the man was assaulted by certain people from the informal settlement. He said they threatened to kill him if he did not close his “big mouth”.

“Then on Wednesday last week [July 14), he was attacked and stabbed to death,” said Knight.

He said that for the past three years there have been no housebreakings at the mission.

“This crime angered the old man and provoked him to confront the young men in front of the church,” he said.

However, other residents of the mission said the deceased’s death might have had something to do with money. One said he might have been killed by people whom he owed money to.

“But I also heard that on the day of his murder he had gone to Lynnfield [Park] to collect money from a person for whom he had built a house,” said another resident.

An investigating officer said police are still trying to piece the facts together. “Right now we are still trying to get hold of the man’s sister as part of our investigation,” said the officer.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan confirmed that the case was only opened yesterday.

She appealed to anyone with information about the murder to contact Captain Gcwabaza at 082 4597 064.

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