Durban – A 79-year-old pensioner has been murdered in her cottage at Tafta Park in Bellair, Durban.
The attack on Angela Croucamp has shocked, scared and saddened her friends and neighbours at the west Durban Tafta estate, as well as staff in the wider Tafta family.
“This is a dreadful way to start the new year; it means the life of one of our Tafta family has been lost in tragic circumstances. It is deeply, deeply saddening,” Femada Shaman, the chief operation officer for The Association For the Aged (Tafta) said on Monday.
Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele confirmed the murder on Monday, saying the victim was believed to have been strangled.
Her hands and legs had been bound, she said.
It is believed the suspects, who robbed the pensioner of electrical items, gained access to her home through the back door.
Her body was found by a neighbour at 8am last Tuesday.
Police and detectives were back at Tafta Park and were continuing their investigations on Monday.
“We are all in a state,” said one of the pensioner’s close friends,who declined to be named.
Residents had received individual and group counselling in the wake of the tragedy, Sharman said.
Security had been stepped up before the murder following recent security breaches. There had been a number of minor incidents, including a couple of robberies, when people got into the park, she said.
“More night guards were put on duty and the access and exit system was changed and improved,” she said.
Cameras were also installed.
Asked if security issues had played a part in the murder, Shaman said: “Angela was murdered because we live in a violent society.
“As much as we keep residents as safe as possible, this murder brings it home about the type of society we live in. It highlights the fact that it is easier for elderly people to be over-powered.”
In an attempt to keep residents safe, Tafta is in the process of trimming the trees in the park to improve visibility and has encouraged residents to be extra vigilant by locking their doors and security gates.
The organisation said it planned to liaise with the local councillor, the police, private security companies and the regional community policing forum to address criminal activity near the facility.
The closest living relative of Croucamp, who had been living at Tafta Park since 2011, is a cousin, who lives overseas.
A memorial service would be held at the Park next Wednesday, starting at 2pm.