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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Double Murder Rocks Grahamstown

Yesterday this incident shocked this quiet town. The man who was killed is somebody we all knew. Most people are shocked.

Double murder rocks G’town

A well-known local businessman and his domestic worker were killed here on Monday in a shocking afternoon attack at their Cradock Heights home which also left his wife and a passer-by who tried to assist them seriously injured, writes Adrienne Carlisle.

A 21-year-old suspect has been arrested in connection with the incident.

Superintendent Monray Nel said the man and his wife, whose names are being witheld until their families had been informed, arrived home shortly before 2pm yesterday for lunch.

Police suspect the domestic worker had already been overpowered and killed seconds before the couple arrived home.

“When he found the assailant in his home, the home owner then chased the suspect out of his house and into the open road in front of the home,” said Nel.

“The suspect turned on him and his wife and attacked them with two knives in his possession.”

At some point during the fatal melee a passer-by in a bakkie had stopped to assist and he was also attacked and injured.

The young attacker had tried to escape in the passer-by’s bakkie but local security firm Hi-Tech had, by now, arrived on the scene and apprehended him.

The homeowner died at the scene. Nel said the man who had assisted the couple was stable in hospital and the woman was “out of immediate danger”.
The young couple own a local business and are well-liked in the town.

Yellow police tape and two traffic police vehicles blocked off the one and only road into the relatively new suburb on the outskirts of town.

Their presence was the only sign of any trouble in the usually peaceful area poised high above the town in among dense bush.

The modern facebrick home of the couple, with its surrounding high wall topped by electric fencing looked impenetrable from a distance. Behind it is a hill covered in dense bush.

Three domestic workers who work in the same suburb, Eunice Mxube, Cynthia Papu and Cynthia Nogobo on Monday expressed shock at the crime.

“But I am careful. I usually lock the door when I work here,” said Mxube.

“The bush is thick and we worry about our safety even when walking to work because you can’t see who is in the bush,” said Papu.

Ngobo said she would definitely be more careful in future. “Now I feel so unsafe,” she said with tears in her eyes.

The local SPCA arrived and took the couple’s pets, including two large dogs, away for safekeeping.

Superintendent Nel appealed to the Daily Dispatch to not reveal the names of couple or the domestic worker to give the police the opportunity to inform their next of kin.

He said that within the next few days the suspect would appear in court.

“He will be charged with the double murder, two attempted murders and housebreaking.”

The news of the vicious double-killing spread like wildfire through Grahamstown.

“It seems so pointless,” said a local resident who did not wish to be named. “At least two families have been totally devastated by this and for what?”