The murder of Louise van Rensburg, 73, on Tuesday January 2, has left the Parow Park community in a state of shock.
Roger Cannon, chairman of the Parow Community Police Forum (CPF), said the killing of an elderly person was especially worrying.
“I want to call on the community to protect the more vulnerable in our community,” he said.
Willem Botes, Parow Park Neighbourhood Watch chairman, said Ms Van Rensburg had known the 30-year-old man and fellow Parow Park resident accused of killing her. It’s believed he scaled her balcony to get into her two-bedroom second-storey flat.
Mr Botes said Ms Van Rensburg had been killed at about 10am, her bloody body discovered by a neighbour several hours later.
“The suspect punched her in the face repeatedly then smothered her with a pillow.”
Mr Botes described Ms Van Rensburg as a “tiny-built, very quiet and homely” woman.
She had lived at the complex for the past 30 years.
“She battled a lot with money, and before I left on holiday, in December, I gave her some money to buy electricity.
“She was a person who was very giving and wouldn’t harm a fly,” he said.
Her jewellery, watch and R500 in cash had been stolen.
Mr Botes is frustrated about crime at the complex of more than 500 flats, home to some 3 000 people, and has called for it to be fenced off.
This has been the second murder here, since last May.
Last year, a woman in her late 50s was decapitated after being attacked while she was cleaning her dirt bin.
At the time (“Parow Park residents fear for their safety,” Northern News April 20, 2016), Benedicta van Minnen, mayoral committee member for human settlements, said the City planned to fence the ground-floor flats once funds became available.
Mr Botes said drug abuse, break-ins and robberies plagued the complex.
“I have been the chairman for the past 10 years, and I am pleading with the police and the City’s safety and security directorate to come on board and help me with this issue,” he said.
His partner, Hester Groenwald, the watch’s radio controller, has lived at the complex for almost 30 years and is one of its eldest residents.
“Everyone is deeply upset about the murder. I am in charge of the radio component of the neighbourhood watch, and I want to plead with residents to join us to fight crime in and around the complex,” she said.
Provincial police spokesman FC van Wyk said they believed robbery was the motive for Ms Van Rensburg’s murder.
“Our investigations led to the arrest of a man, 30, who is also a resident in the same complex,” he said.
The man appeared in the in Bellville Magistrates’ Court, on Thursday January 5, on a charge of murder.