Get IOL's cool new iPad app...
Police in Cape Town are investigating the murder of a woman from a well-known business family in Athlone.
June Nefdt (nee Wilton), 73, was found dead in her home on Monday after a neighbour who heard muted screams at around lunchtime sent her granddaughter to investigate.
“I was home in my bedroom when I heard the sound. (Nefdt’s) kitchen faces my bedroom. I heard someone shouting ‘Please don’t kill me, don’t kill me’,” said the woman, who did not want to be named.
The granddaughter knocked on Nefdt’s front door, but nobody answered. She then saw a gardener outside.
“I asked him where June was and he said she was not home. I said I want to go inside because her car is here,” she recounted.
“When we went in we found her body lying face-down in a pool of blood. The cupboard drawers were pulled out and there was a mess.”
Later, she said, her husband saw blood on the gardener’s face and asked where it had come from.
“He said it was from cutting a branch and then he ran.
“We called for help and some of the people chased him down and caught him. We then called the police,” she said.
She added that branch-cutters were found behind the door close to where Nefdt was found.
Police spokesman Frederick van Wyk said a 60-year-old man had been arrested in connection with Nefdt’s death.
He had been taken in for questioning, but had not yet been charged.
Nefdt had lived in Athlone most of her life. As a student she trained as a nurse and subsequently worked in the profession.
In later life she was involved in running various Wilton family businesses. These included the Landrost Hotel, the Goldfinger and Beverley pubs and a butchery in Athlone. She is survived by three daughters and three grandchildren.
Nefdt had been living with one of her daughters, but she was alone at home when she died.
“(She) was a caring and gracious woman who loved her family and her God dearly. The family is saddened beyond words and deeply regrets that her trust was betrayed so violently,” said family spokesman Jeremy Michaels.
A family friend, who asked that they not be named, said the suspect was well known to Nefdt and the Athlone community.
“He had worked for her for some time – gardening and doing odd jobs,” he said.