Gran killed after act of kindness

2012-04-10 13:07

Durban - A simple act of kindness - giving two men water at her front door - cost a 74-year-old KwaZulu-Natal woman her life ahead of the Easter weekend.

Ria Coetzee’s body was found by her husband, Fanie, a manager at the Margate Sands Hotel, when he arrived back from work on Thursday night.

She had been strangled with a scarf in the bathroom.

Ramsgate police arrested a 23-year-old suspect in Gcilima, outside Margate, on Sunday. He was charged with robbery and murder and will appear in the Ramsgate Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

A second arrest is expected this week.

Put up a fight

Fanie Coetzee, 76, described how he found his wife’s ice-cold body in the bathroom.

“She looked as if she had suffocated. When I found her she had a few bruises on her face. It looks like she put up a bit of a fight,” he said.

Their eldest son, Pieter Coetzee, who lives in Cape Town told The Witness: “It’s a very sad time for our family and my father especially. They were married for 55 years and had four children.

“My mother was the most soft spoken, likable person I know. She believed a lot in religion and was always accommodating and helping people.”

Coetzee said his father had arrived home at about 19:00 to a house full of smoke and initially thought the house was on fire.

His father had thought his mother may have suffered a heart attack and that the fire was caused by the food left burning on the stove.

Instead, his father found his mother in the bathroom with a scarf around her neck.

“My mother spoke to my dad at 10 and to one of my sisters just after 11 that morning. She normally prepares her lunch at 12 so it would have happened around that time.

“It appears that two men knocked on her door and asked her for water which she gave them. She then went on with her work and she didn’t take notice that they had climbed in through a very small window in the house.”

His mom’s killers tied her up in her bathroom and strangled her with a scarf. They left with a collection of wines, some jewellery and a few other items.

“It really was a senseless killing. There were vehicles in the garage, the keys were in the house, but they did not take them. It’s a big house, but most of the house was untouched,” he said.

Police praised

Coetzee was full of praise for the police and the swift arrest of a suspect.

“I have never seen such efficient policing before. We are very happy with the arrest and hard work by the Margate police. I hope that they (the killers) get locked away for a very long time. There is no place in society for people who can take advantage of an old frail person who cannot defend herself.”

He said he was also amazed by the kindness of the people on the South Coast. “It is only at times like this that you realise how many people are there to support you.

“We have been most touched by the generosity and the assistance with accommodation and the kind words,” he said.

His mom’s funeral will take place at the Dutch Reformed Church on Thursday.

In his reaction, police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said: “We urge elderly people to always keep their windows and doors locked and not open their door to strangers.”

“If they notice any suspicious behaviour in the yard they must contact the police immediately,” he said.

  • John - 2012-04-10 13:19

    Your kindness will be rewarded in heaven! RIP Gran. :-(

      Consolata - 2012-04-10 13:26

      So saddened by her death. Showing kindness sometimes leads to death in sa and thats why we dont trust each other, because if we try to trust we might end up dead. I want to trust my fellow south africans but i'm afraid and i'm wondering what will it take for us to trust each other. Cry the beloved country...

      daniella.blazic - 2012-04-10 13:30

      Condolences to all family and friends!

      Irma - 2012-04-14 17:19

      Alicia there are plenty of good government, model C and private schools in South Africa. If I were to go to the US or UK I'd face the same issues with having to pick the area where I lived carefully or pay for private school. Both countries have severe problems in their education systems, particularly the focus on standardised tests and grade inflation. Just recently educators in the UK have reported that A levels have become a pale shadow of what they once were. In addition most of the crime does not happen to middle class and higher people in South Africa. And really whining about affirmative action is just pathetic. There is plenty of employment for skilled white people in South Africa. So much in fact that white Europeans are still coming here to live. Of course they're also leaving their home countries because they've become stifling over-regulated surveillance states. And that's essence of it. South Africa suits those with the frontier, pioneering spirit. It's no good for those who want to be mollycoddled, want the government to take away freedom in exchange for promises of making life totally risk-free.

  • Lulama - 2012-04-10 13:25

    This is horrendous!You have to be dead inside to do something like this.

  • CharlesDumbwin - 2012-04-10 13:26

    Animals !!!

      Greg - 2012-04-10 14:33

      I would say "Savages" - animals have hearts.

      koo.doyle - 2012-04-10 14:39

      Animals do NOT behave like this, don't insult them.

      Ian - 2012-04-10 22:05

      please dont be dumb charles, animals do not behave in this way

      Irma - 2012-04-14 17:20

      Animals do in fact engage in deliberate acts of brutality.

  • Shirley - 2012-04-10 13:27

    How sad!Deepest sympathies to all family members. In this lawlwss country of ours,sadly there is no longer room for kindness! Each sranger must be regarded as the "enemy"!!!

      Irma - 2012-04-14 17:21

      In South Africa we're wary of strangers because of crime. In the UK the government has regularly public awareness campaigns aimed at making you afraid of strangers.

  • daniella.blazic - 2012-04-10 13:29

    RIP Rita Coetzee XX

  • Graham - 2012-04-10 13:30

    This is another racist hate crime! There is no reason to kill someone if you want to rob them. So what other reason is there for the killing?

      Irma - 2012-04-14 17:22

      Never fails does it? A white person gets murdered and it has to be racist.

  • ntando.ndabeni - 2012-04-10 13:31

    God be merciful on their sinful souls

      Carla - 2012-04-10 13:51

      They definitely do not deserve any mercy

      appietrader - 2012-04-10 15:42

      Savages have no souls!!!

  • kensong.ben - 2012-04-10 13:35

    Those senseless ,uncalled for murders honestly has the potent to turn any law abiding citizen into a revenge killer ..what has sa became ? #pissed#

  • Carla - 2012-04-10 13:37

    Absolutely tragic. Why did they have to kill her??? RIP

  • Lumko Ntshinka - 2012-04-10 13:38

    Disgusting stuff! Pure savage, the times we live in, doomed youth is what we are i tell you...

  • Lumko Ntshinka - 2012-04-10 13:38

    Disgusting stuff! Pure savage, the times we live in, doomed youth is what we are i tell you...

  • brionyl.french - 2012-04-10 13:41

    there goes me giving anyone a drink again... sorry to all the thirsty good people out there... these two a-holes spoilt it for everyone

  • willybegood - 2012-04-10 13:53


  • JoeFRios - 2012-04-10 13:55

    Fu*#king animals. Although, how did they get the "evidence" that the killers asked for water to get in? Did the "alleged" criminals confess?

      koo.doyle - 2012-04-10 14:13

      Animals don't murder, its an insult to them to compare them to these savages. Sies.

      Irma - 2012-04-14 17:24

      Animals do murder.

  • Rob - 2012-04-10 14:00

    Nonsense John. This is just another black on white crime that has resulted in the death of an innocent white women. Once again @ the hands of blacks. There was no reason to kill her, but they did. Could this be a racist killing. No, absolutely not. Because............. 1. We all know blacks are forgiving and cannot possibly be racist. Who says....Well, they do ! 2. They probably stole some items from the house. No lets just accept this as yet another crime by the have-nots on the have's. Tomorrow, the next day & the day after, there will be many more such " incidents " like this. One can only imagine the re-action & outcry if whites were doing this to blacks. Frontpage news & probably on CNN as well !

      koo.doyle - 2012-04-10 14:14

      Rubbish, many black people fall victim to similar crimes, this is not a crime of race, but rather one of opportunity.

      Rob - 2012-04-10 14:25

      @ Koo. Yes, and it appears that many blacks are making the most of their " opportunities " that to come their way.

      Jason - 2012-04-10 14:30

      How the toss did racism enter this fray.

      Irene - 2012-04-10 14:34

      Spot on Rob.

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-04-10 21:05

      Koo, similar crimes maybe - but almost never at the hands of white people. What Rob is saying is not rubbish, it is quite true. Not nice to accept, but it is an honest comment.

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-04-10 21:07

      JaydedKing - these crimes are too commonn, it is clear the violence is racially motivated - you need to hate a lot to kill every time you commit a crime. 99% of black on white crimes are extremely violent - hence, racism is the accepted motivation by most of us.

      Irma - 2012-04-14 17:37

      Same thing every time a white person gets murdered the white racists come running out of their dark little holes to proclaim it motivated by race. At the very least try to get some evidence other than the colours of the victim and perpetrators. It should be plainly obvious, even to white racists, that black people are far more likely to be extremely poor, far more likely to have been brutalised and black people are indeed the majority. So the overall balance of who is committing the crimes should not really come as a surprise. Nor that the majority of victims are also black. The latter of course brings the white racists running back with cries of black on black this and that, but why don't I hear the same when white people are murdering, raping and robbing other white people in Europe? Frankly the white people who try to turn every crime into a racial incident are a real embarrassment to my race and as pathetic as black people who try to portray every criticism, every setback as racism.

  • Ako - 2012-04-10 14:04

    @Duncan Thabiso Mphailane that was very insensitive of you, there was no neccessary for you to comment but this shows what kind of person you are maybe you are also a killer yourself and remember crime doesn't affect whites only but it affects each and every individual in South Africa. It is so sad that there are dumbest fatty peace of s**t like you who are so blind to see that. The poor old lady was brutally killed today but tomorrow it can your turn you fool.

      Shirley - 2012-04-10 14:19

      AKO: As difficult as it is,dont respond to this vile so called person! Every response you give him,feeds him! I agree whole heartedly with your comment and thank you for caring!

      Tony Lapson - 2012-04-10 14:21

      Ako, in the modern Internet times, there are people (mostly between the age of 14-20) who enjoy getting emotional reactions out of people. These people are known as 'trolls'. They used to feed on small reactions from people who felt passionately about a hobby, interest, political agenda or a person (celebrity or family member). Those kinds of topics are boring now, and the next shock factor has become human suffering, something that one insensitive remark can produce scores of reactions. In his mind, he is a master of emotion and controlling peoples feelings.

      Ako - 2012-04-10 15:09

      @ Shirley and Tony I hear you guys thank u but it unucceptable that when you are expecting that people will react on a certain way to a certain situation and find that there morons like this one who are heartless because crime is affecting all of us black or white so we need to stand up and fight as one. \Sis\

  • Elize - 2012-04-10 14:17

    Damn cowards why do you have to kill her???? Tie her up take all you want and p..s off, what threat does a 74 year old woman post to a 23 year old man??

  • Khanyi - 2012-04-10 14:19

    I sympathise with the family, killing an old woman just like that. May her soul rest in peace.

  • Mimi - 2012-04-10 14:28

    its sad that people have became so barbaric...Im sorry to say I do not help any1 nor do I trust the ladies who hire babies to stand on the side of the road and beg...! times are tough for every1...RIP granny....!

      Irma - 2012-04-14 17:40

      If you're referring to the human race in general, then become is not the correct word. More accurate would be to say it is sad that people are still so barbaric.

  • Cassandra Olivier - 2012-04-10 14:32

    You meant to be show kindness to your neighbour not cruelty

  • Allan - 2012-04-10 14:53

    Bring back the ultimate punishment!! hang the bastards

  • Lerato - 2012-04-10 15:01

    Well done SAPS - good job !!!!

  • Steven C Venter - 2012-04-10 15:01

    I'm sorry but Zuma say you are safe !!!. Come in world stop wearing blinkers when it comes to South Africa

  • Goempie - 2012-04-10 15:54

    I hope the killers die a horrible death!

  • phathuchicos - 2012-04-10 16:37

    Where is the love?...eish some people have no souls(death sentence desperately needed in this country), when last did you go to your granny's house and felt like you were a pre-school kid again? RIP granny, she reminds of my late granma who's kindness made her a celeb in my village.

      Irma - 2012-04-14 17:42

      The death sentence is pointless. It is not the magical formula some worshippers thereof seem to think it is. I could never feel like a pre-school kid again because I am not one. No-one can ever recapture that.

  • Nigel - 2012-04-10 16:42

    hang him in public, no on 2nd thoughts, rather give him hard labour for life, thats one hell of a deterrent for pigs like this

  • Josie - 2012-04-10 20:46

    Easter week - so many murders! This is genocide. Where is the UN. We are the monority and are being murdered. Will someone wake up and save SA?

      Irma - 2012-04-14 17:43

      Really, genocide against whom? Honestly these genocide claims are so lame it isn't even funny anymore.

  • berni.venter - 2012-04-10 21:51

    But I thought SA was safe Mr President. How now... "In his reaction, police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said: “We urge elderly people to always keep their windows and doors locked and not open their door to strangers.”

      Irma - 2012-04-14 17:45

      Heard the same advice in a number of other countries. Ones that South Africans will generally tell you are safe as houses.

  • Solly Rand - 2012-04-11 21:09

    most of these atrocities are carried out by blacks.its a shame we have these type of people in our country..Poor old gran

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