A missing 89-year-old south Durban woman has been found dead in her home, under a pile of clothes with her mouth stuffed with a rag.
Neighbours last saw Eunice Ngcobo, who lived alone in A-section in Lovu Township, in Illovo, on Saturday after she collected her old-age grant.
Her daughter, Mildred Nduli, 54, said her younger brother, Vusi Ngcobo, who lived nearby, had started searching for his mother at about 9am on Monday until he made the gruesome discovery in the evening.
Ngcobo, 46, entered the house through an open window. When he realised something was amiss he shouted to his two siblings - Nduli and Boniza, a policeman who was off duty - who had joined him in the search.
Ngcobo told them he could see a foot sticking out from under a pile of clothes. He was shocked to find his mother’s lifeless body, face up and a piece of cloth covering her head, “as if she was throttled”, Nduli said.
A tearful Nduli said she had been worried after her brother reported their mother missing.
When she called her mother’s cellphone, a man answered, she said.
“It was very strange, the man on the other side sounded relaxed. He even asked me to load R20 airtime so he would forward the phone to my mother,” Nduli said.
“I asked him who he was but he gave me a strange name that I could not remember.
“I then called (Boniza). We all went to search for our mother at her house, which is about 10 minutes from my place.”
The family was astonished to find the house lit and a side window open.
“The stench was unbearable and the house had been ransacked. Her pension money, cellphone, two television sets and colourful dishes were also stolen,” Nduli said.
Nduli said her mother could have been murdered on Saturday after collecting her pension at a nearby pay point.
The body was discovered at about 8pm on Monday and police were immediately called.
Nduli said her mother had resisted calls to have someone stay with her for safety’s sake.
Ngcobo’s long-time friend, Esther Mseleku, 72, who helped clean the four-roomed house, said she would miss her dearly.
She recalled the good times they had enjoyed together.
“I am in deep pain, I do not know what to say. We used to go to church together. We have been friends more than thee decades,” said Mseleku.
Police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane, said they were investigating. - Daily News