Top task team to hunt killers

2013-11-09 00:00

RESIDENTS from Hillcrest, Inchanga and Kloof held an urgent meeting on Thursday night to discuss safety concerns after the murder of an elderly couple in Shongweni Valley.

John (72) and Hester Noble (68) were murdered during a home invasion on Wednesday night.

The police told The Witness John had been strangled with a piece of wire and his wife with the piping from her oxygen tank.

A neighbour made the grisly discovery after being alerted by the couple’s gardener and domestic worker.

It is understood that provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni has assembled a task team to track down the killers.

Hillcrest Community Policing Forum acting chairperson Monica Bruun said authorities were pushing to make headway with the arrests of suspects as fast as they could.

“Our community is deeply disturbed about the brutal murder of the couple,” Kloof CPF chairperson Corné Broodryk said.

“I think this is an isolated incident, but I have heard that the provincial police commissioner pulled together roleplayers last night [Thursday] to discuss it, so it is being taken very seriously.”

He said having the elderly move in with their children is not the solution, because circumstances do not always allow it.

“In our area we tell the elderly to make sure they are connected [to a security company or neighbourhood watch], but also to their neighbours.

“In fact, we encourage families to take responsibility for their elderly neighbours.

“Not only for the crime aspect, but also because of the health risks, like when an elderly person falls in the home.”

Local resident Andrew Walford, who owns Shongweni Pottery Gallery, said people were shocked at the brutality of the crime. He said at Thursday’s meeting, the local homeowners said they feared for their safety.

“We are wondering if the killers are known in the community, and if they were let in because of that,” he said. “The community is fearful.”

Walford (70) said the incident had reminded him of his brother’s murder a few years ago. “The first time the suspects broke in and shot his wife … she was left paralysed.

“The second time they shot my brother dead. My brother had a cattle farm in Peacevale.”

He said they had to trace the suspect through a cellphone number and eventually the community caught him.

“But the case was thrown out because we didn’t follow due procedure. Only after a top lawyer friend of mine helped did we manage to re-open the case and mete out justice to the suspect,” said Walford.

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