Imbali Unit 3 community members are reeling after an 80-year-old woman was attacked and killed at her home on Wednesday afternoon.
Maria Thoko Ngwenya’s lifeless body was found tied up, lying in the lounge half-naked.
Plessislaer police spokesperson Sergeant Sfiso Gwala told The Witness that the matter was reported to the police by a community member who saw a broken door and suspected that there was something wrong. He said the suspects gained entrance into the house by breaking the back door.
“[She] was found lying in the lounge face down. It is suspected that she was strangled until she died. Her legs were tied with a cord, arms tied with pantyhose, her face covered with a scarf and there was a cloth that was put inside her mouth. She was naked from the waist down but there were no bruises to her body,” he said.
Sergeant Gwala said they are still waiting for the post-mortem results which will confirm whether they need to also open a case of rape.
“Police are investigating a case of murder. We urge anyone with information to please come forward so that we can arrest the suspects.”
Social Development spokesperson Mhlaba Memela said this is a traumatic incident and they will send a team of social workers to the family and the neighbours to offer social support.
“This is horrible because old people are the wisdom in our communities.”
Ward councillor Xolani Ngongoma said they are devastated and shocked that someone would do something like this to an elderly woman.
He said what makes the matters worse is that since last year they have been hosting a campaign in his ward trying to raise awareness about gender based violence.
“This is very painful to see a senior citizen being attacked and killed like this. She could not even defend herself. We urge the police to leave no stone unturned in finding the murderers because we cannot tolerate incidents like this. It is heartbreaking.
“The way this whole thing happened we suspect that it was done by someone who had an information about the granny living alone and the fact that they used the back door shows that they had information. Out of all the houses in the area why did they choose to go and break into gogo’s house?”
Ngongoma warned residents not to take the law into their own hands, but report to the police if they have any suspicions about who the suspects are.