A 31-year-old has been arrested in connection with the murder of a 77-year-old woman from Bhobhonono in Smero. Janet Dlungwane’s body was found on Monday lying in a pool of blood on the bed in her bedroom. It is alleged that she was first beaten and then strangled to death. uMgungundlovu police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese confirmed the incident. He said the suspect will appear in court soon, facing the charge of murder. Dlungwane had been missing for the whole day on Sunday and her family had been looking for her. She was found with a swollen face and wound at the back of her ear.Her granddaughter Ntsiki Mbatha said they first noticed that there was something wrong when they went to look for her at her house but could not find her on Sunday and Monday. Neighbours told them that they had not seen her either since Saturday. Mbatha said her grandmother had been living alone in the house where she was found dead.She said they all live in the same area and would go check up on her regularly. “My grandmother was last seen by my mother on Saturday afternoon when my mother went to visit her as usual. My grandmother instructed my mother to call me so that she could send me to town to buy her groceries and pay for her funeral plan. I told her that public transport is very scarce in the afternoons so I would rather wake up very early on Monday and go and do her grocery shopping. “On Sunday morning I decided that I would go and check up on her and cook whatever she had in the house. When I got to her house I knocked but no one answered. I thought maybe she went to visit one of her neighbours because it is something that he would usually do. I asked the neighbours if they had seen her but they said no. I went back to my house with the hope that when I come back for the second time she I would find her in the house,” said the distraught granddaughter. She said she went to her grandmother’s house again around 6pm on Sunday and knocked but still no one was responding to the knock. She said she noticed that the burglar gate was locked but the door was not locked. “I went around the house and knocked on her bedroom window but still she did not respond. I went back to the door with the hope that she has gone to open it but still she was not there. I went and told my mother (Dlungwane’s daughter) what had happened. On Monday morning my mother called my bothers and other neighbours to come to my grandmother’s house so that they could look for her.”Dlungwane’s daughter Lindiwe Mbatha said she decided to call the neighbours because she felt that something was wrong. She said her mother was not the type of person that could just disappear without saying anything. CONTINUED ON PAGE 3“Since the burglar gate was locked I was instructed my boys to break it so that we can gain entrance. I told them to go to her bedroom first and I will wait at the door and they must tell me is she is there because I was so scared.“When they entered her bedroom I heard loud cries. I thought maybe she got sick with high blood pressure and died. I never thought that she was killed by someone. I then went and checked in the bedroom. We found her lying in bed with stomach. We then called the police.“ The police arrived and when they turned over her body we noticed that her face was swollen, had a wound behind her ear and she was still bleeding. Her neck had turned green which we believe it was due to the strangling. We have never see such thing in our life. There were also small pieces of bottles lying everywhere we do not know whether they were hitting her with bottles as well,” she said. She said they believe that Dlungwane was murdered on Saturday night. The family also revealed that all the money [R3600] that was on Dlungwane’s hand bag that was meant for grocery shopping was also missing. “We are very heart broken because the person who has been arrested for this brutal murder is someone who was very close to gogo. We want to see justice to happen for her. Right now we are left with nothing because this heartless criminal even took the money. We need every help that we can get,” said Mbatha. This is the second incident of an elderly woman being strangled to death in Pietermaritzburg since the lockdown started. In March Genzeni Ernstine “MaMthalane” (75) Zuma was raped and killed in her home in Sweetwaters. She was found by her grandson the next morning.Social Development Spokesperson Mhlaba Memela said as a department they are very much concern about the continuous incidents of abuse and murders of old persons in the province.He said they have noted the trend on elder abuses in the province and people have became a violent nation that fails to protect and take care of its senior citizens.“It is barbaric act of killing an elderly constitutes a violation of human rights as it’s now clear that the pensioners was abused, murdered to strip her pension. “It is more worrying that this act was done by the person she trusted. We are pleased that police has made an arrest. We call for the court not to grant bail to this heartless individual,” he said.He said MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza has dispatched a team of social workers to provide psychosocial support to the family of the victim.