- Wolseley residents have been left shaken by the latest murder in their community.
- 51-year-old Renée Jain was murdered in her home in an estate on Friday night.
- Police are still searching for three suspects, who also robbed a home in the same estate.
Wolseley's residents have been left reeling following a brutal murder and robbery at a nature reserve estate at the weekend.
Three men broke into two homes on the De Vierde Liefde farm on Friday night and during the home invasions, 51-year-old Renée Jain, an estate resident, was murdered.
Community policing forum spokesperson Magda Pierie said the community had been left shaken, especially because they had not experienced this type of "farm attack" before.
"It's the first time something like this has happened. Farm murders are new here. I only know what I've seen commented on Facebook, but the community is in shock," she said.
Ratepayers' Association chairperson Alwyn Mouton said there was a general sense that crime was increasing in the area. In the past year, he said the community had been rocked by three murders, including Jain's.
In Tulbagh, around 15km from Ceres, community doctor Roelof Botha was murdered in June. More recently, Siyamcela Sombambela, was arrested for allegedly killing three women in the Pine Valley informal settlement in Wolseley during last October.
Police say the first home invasion took place at around 23:45 on Friday when three unknown, Afrikaans-speaking men robbed the home of an elderly couple.
"The couple were in their bed when a heavy, wooden animal sculpture was thrown through the glass door of their bedroom," said Wolseley police spokesperson Sergeant Meryll Africa.
The suspects, who were wearing masks and hoodies, demanded money and jewellery. They then demanded that the 75-year-old male homeowner open the garage and hand over his car keys before tying up both victims and locking them in the bathroom.
"The couple managed to loosen the ropes and climbed through the bathroom window. The panic alarm was activated, and they phoned Wolseley SAPS who attended to the scene," said Afrika.
The stolen vehicle was later found abandoned in Tulbagh.
While the police were on the scene, at around 03:30, they were informed by the estate's caretaker that Jain, who lived at a house nearby, was not answering her phone.
Police went to the house and found the door closed, but not locked. They found Jain's body in the bedroom.
"An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. A case of murder was opened and is currently under investigation," Afrika said.
An IT expert, Jain was Cape Union Mart's enterprise application manager, who also served on the Fedisa fashion academy's advisory council in Cape Town.
Cape Union Mart CEO Andre Labuschaigne said the company was "devastated" by Jain's murder.
"An inspiration and mentor to many, Renée's tenacity for life and commitment to her profession and our business was immeasurable. She will be fondly remembered and dearly missed," he said.
"We extend our heartfelt condolences to her husband Raj, her mother Cathy, her IT team, and all those who have been affected by this senseless tragedy. One never fully understands the impact people have on our lives until they're gone. The amount of tributes we have received from various industries and businesses has been incredible."
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