KZN community in mourning after elderly man's murder

2015-06-19 16:50
(File, Nielen de Klerk, News24)

(File, Nielen de Klerk, News24)

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Durban - A 76-year-old man’s worst fear was dying alone in his house and not being discovered.

However, while he died at the hands of armed robbers, in the end he was surrounded by his loving community who took him in and cared for him.

The Pine-Ridge Neighbourhood Watch is mourning the loss of the elderly man who was discovered in his garden with stab wounds on Thursday after two unknown suspects gained entry to his three-bedroom Pinetown home.

The man, who cannot be named because his family has not yet been notified, is believed to have been living alone on Angus Road.

“His greatest fear was dying alone in the house and not being discovered. At least he died a happy man and was not lonely anymore. The power of the human spirit is really amazing, it’s amazing what love can do, it can change any heart,” Pine-Ridge Neighbourhood Watch chairperson Dylan Jenkins said.

He said the community had got to the know the man last year when his house had caught fire and been completely burnt down.

‘He taught us change begins with your neighbour’

The community had rallied to provide him food, clothes and household items, while taking him into their homes while insurance was rebuilding the house.

“He became a part of the family and everyone knew the old man because we all looked after him. I have never seen so much humanity like that. That is the ideal of a neighbourhood watch. We raised thousands of rands and furnished and renovated the house with really nice stuff.

“When we first met him he was a grumpy old man because he lived alone and was a lonely person, because his parents died a long time ago, he had no one. When we started helping him, he kept asking me why people cared so much. We used to pop in once a week just to check up on him to show him we loved and cared about him.

“He really taught us the importance of community and that change begins with your neighbour,” said Jenkins.

Jenkins informed the community of the old man’s death on the Pine-Ridge Neighbourhood Watch Facebook page.

One of the suspects also led police to the discovery of his body.

Policemen patrolling the area questioned a suspicious-looking man at about 11:30 [on Thursday] with suspected stolen goods in his possession. The man took them to the Angus Road house.

“It turned out to be the house of the old man (remember our dear friend whose house was burnt down). PRNW patrollers and Saps k9 (sic) searched for him and came across his deceased body in his garden," the Facebook entry read.

“It seems there was a struggle as he tried to defend himself. 1 suspect is in custody, detectives are investigating as 2 other suspects were involved. RIP SWEET [OLD MAN].”

1 man arrested, another on the run

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said a 25 year-old man was arrested on Thursday and appeared in court on Friday. Another man fled and was being sought by the police.

The victim was stabbed with a sharp instrument before they had taken cellphones and other items.  
Community members posted messages on Facebook about the old man.

Gill Scott wrote: “So glad he was loved and helped by PRNW – in the closing chapter of his life on earth he already had a glimpse into an eternity of Love that would not have been eclipsed by the violence of his passing. RIP now.”

Tracy Ridsdale said she was worried about his dogs, “Please someone give them a loving home! Be at peace [old man]. I salute PRNW!,” she wrote.

And Kerry Thomas wrote: “Disgusting that we are not even safe in our own little piece of land…RIP [old man].”

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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