Stunned residents of Hazelmere said they cannot believe that a young, well-known man from the area has been arrested in connection with the murder of his mother.
The man was arrested late last week after paramedics visited the home on the pretext of doing a medical check-up on the 72-year-old woman as there had been reports of the woman having gone missing.
While there they detected a foul odour and eventually managed to gain access to the rented room where they discovered her decomposing body.
The son had initially told paramedics that his mother did not want to be disturbed.
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According to Reaction Unit South Africa’s (Rusa) Prem Balram, the son had provided conflicting explanations for the death of his mother.
Residents in the area say they were shocked to learn that the man was implicated in the death of his own mother.
Taking to Rusa’s social media site to comment on the matter, many said although the suspect was known for his strange behaviour, they certainly hadn’t considered him capable of murder.
“Let’s be honest, he was strange to say the least and we all saw something like this happening but would never have thought to this extreme,” said one resident. “He went through a lot, if you know his history you would know …” said another.
Most residents, however, called for harsh action against perpetrators of gender-based violence.
“It is so sad, unbearable. May her soul rest in peace. We are not safe at all as women. You give life to someone who will take yours,” said a resident.
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According to Rusa, the son eventually explained that his mother had left her frail care home in South Beach, Durban, to come and visit him. After various explanations, he said he became angry with his mother and pushed her, leading to a fall that killed her.
On Tuesday he decided to bathe her in the bathroom. He alleged that she refused to be bathed by him and turned violent, and in a moment of anger he pushed her.
“She fell to the ground and suffered head injuries. He dressed her and place her on the bed before cleaning the blood from the bathroom,” said Balram, adding that the son stayed with the decomposing body for three days before paramedics discovered the body.
“Imagine, the same mother wiped him, bathed him and changed his dirty diapers, and he gets frustrated bathing her and kills her,” said another resident.