Man in court for mom’s killing

Edwina Thomas

A man has appeared in court charged with the murder of his mother, after her body was found in her Goodwood home last week.

The family of Edwina Thomas, 51, a Woolworths employee, had reported her missing the day before she was found dead in the storeroom of the Cook Street house, at about 9.30pm, on Tuesday May 29.

Goodwood police spokesman Captain Waynne said Ms Thomas’s grey Hyundai Elantra and a hard drive from the CCTV camera had been missing from the scene.

That night, at 11.20pm, police dog unit officers had spotted the Hyundai in Elsies River and arrested the “close family member” behind the wheel. Captain Theunis said the man had later confessed to killing Ms Thomas.

Ms Thomas’s son, Lance Thomas, appeared in Goodwood Magistrate’s Court on Friday June 1, charged with her murder. The case was postponed to Wednesday September 5, and Mr Thomas remains in custody.

An autopsy is being done to determine exactly how Ms Thomas died, but Joss Ross, Goodwood Community Police Forum chairman, said it was believed she had been strangled.

The motive for the crime was not known yet and detectives were still taking statements and investigating, he said.

“The murder statistics for Goodwood are relatively low, but one murder is too much,” he said.

A resident, who didn’t want his named used as he feared for his safety, said he was “flabbergasted” by news of Ms Thomas’s death.

“I found out about the murder after I arrived home on Tuesday night. There were scores of police vans in front of the house, and the street was cordoned off,” he said.

Another Cook Street resident described Ms Thomas as a “decent, hard-working lady”.

“The women in this community are very shaken up by this murder. It’s not something that happens every day, and we are shocked that it took place so close to us,” she said.

She was “heartbroken” to hear that such a “sweet” woman had been murdered.

“She was a friendly person, and when I would see her in the street, we would greet, and we would talk briefly.

“She moved in here about 10 years ago. She had many issues with her son and recently had to bail him out of jail,” the resident said.

Faizel Petersen, chairman of the Goodwood Ratepayers’ Association, said he had written to the new Goodwood police station commander Colonel Sibusiso Mntambo calling for a meeting to discuss rising crime in the area.

Woolworths did not respond to questions by the time this edition went to print.