Young man arrested for murder, robbery of a great-grandmother

2020-05-13 14:15
Police forensensics investigators are seen at the scene of a murder.

Police forensensics investigators are seen at the scene of a murder. (Sandile Ndlovu, Gallo Images, Sowetan)

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A 77-year-old great-grandmother was strangled and left for dead in her Edendale home over the weekend.

The body of Janet Dlungwane was discovered by her granddaughter on Monday morning in her house in the Bhobhonono area, Smero (near Edendale) after she could not contact her from Sunday. A young man, believed to be known to the family, has since been arrested and is believed to have confessed to the murder.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said the suspect was expected to appear in court today. He has been charged with murder and robbery. Family said R3 000 cash was taken from the home.

Ntsiki Mbatha, of Edendale, said she had last seen her grandmother on Saturday, when they made arrangements that Mbatha would fetch money from her on Sunday to do her grocery shopping. “I went to her house on Sunday morning and failed to get a response after knocking on her doors and windows. I thought she was gone out. I returned later that evening at about 6 pm and again, I failed to get hold of her and the house was in darkness. Even the neighbours did not know where she was, as she always sat on her porch at 5 pm with a cup of tea. No one had seen her that day. I thought maybe she was sleeping and left.

“I returned on Monday morning and when I didn’t get a response, I got some people together and we broke the door down,” said Mbatha.

She said she was shocked to find her grandmother’s lifeless body lying face down in her bed. “I called the police as I didn’t know what to do.

“When they arrived, they turned her around and we saw that she had been beaten all over and quite badly on her face. She was strangled. I knew she would die one day, I just never thought it would happen in this way.

“The worst part is we think she knew the person behind this. She willingly opened the door for him as he was known and trusted. The person also knew that she had money on her as he was there when we were discussing the grocery shopping,” said Mbatha.

KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza said she was extremely disturbed by the assault and yet another murder of a senior citizen by a young man. “It’s very sad that in our province we continue to witness the murder and abuse of senior citizens. In the Pietermaritzburg cluster we are experiencing a number of these brutal killings of elderly persons. It’s more painful to know that Dlungwane was allegedly assaulted, and murdered by a young man she trusted,” said Khoza.

She applauded law enforcement agencies for their swift response to ensure the arrest the suspect. A team of social workers has been deployed to the Dlungwane home to provide counselling to the family.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  murder
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