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'Murdered ex-cop could have been saved by the dog'

Crime & Courts
Cape Town – A retired policeman was found murdered in his home.

The body of Henry Botha, 72, was discovered by his son and a neighbourhood watch member just before 9pm on Monday.

His neighbours in Highlands Estate, Philippi, became suspicious when they saw Henry’s garage door standing open.

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Henry Botha, 72, was bludgeoned to death with a hammer at his Philippi home. Picture: Daily Voice

The father of two, who lives with his daughter, was alone at the time.

The old man had been bludgeoned to death with a hammer in the kitchen.

His TV and car, a blue and silver Golf MK1, were also missing.

Henry was in the news two weeks ago after his daughter’s Pit bull attacked a 10-year-old child in the street as he got off the school bus.

Abdush-Shakoor Noordien's life was saved after neighbours managed to get the dog off him.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana confirmed a charge of murder is being investigated.

“According to a report the body of a 72-year-old man was found in Highlands Estate, Philippi at 8:45pm. The victim had injuries to his head and face,” Rwexana said.

Chairperson of the Schaapkraal Safety Forum (SSF) Redaa Ameeroedien says SSF members and the neighbourhood watch cordoned off the crime scene until police arrived.

He says the SSF will expand safety operations to Highlands Estate.

“Highlands Estate is now a part of the SFF and we are deeply saddened by this horrific deed. We send our condolences to the family.”

Abdush-Shakoor, who went into a coma after the dog nearly ripped out his throat, was out of hospital “and out and about at home”, Redaa said.

The Pit bull was taken away by the Animal Welfare Society in Philippi at the request of the owner, spokesperson Mark Levendal says.

“At the time of the collection, the inspector was unaware as to the reason but learnt later that it was related to the boy that was mauled. The owner of the dog requested that the pit bull be collected and humanely euthanised,” Levendal said.

Henry’s daughter visited the boy in hospital and offered to pay all medical costs.

Redaa believes Henry would still be alive if the dog was not taken away.

Henry's dog could have saved him if it wasn't taken away after the mauling incident. Picture: ANA Pictures

“The motive for this is theft, as those responsible for this deed saw the dog was no longer on the premises and knew Henry was alone,” Redaa says.

In recent months the Schaapkraal community had been hit by a spate of crimes, including an attempted hijacking and shootout between armed robbers and a resident.

Redaa says the SFF has formed stronger relationships with surrounding neighbourhood watches and police and is “receiving better service.”

“However, the community also needs to get more involved as SAPS can’t do everything; they cover a large area and do not have enough manpower,” he added.

Rwexana said Henry’s killers were still at large.

“No one has been arrested at this stage. We appeal to anyone with information that can assist with the investigation to contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111,” she says.

Henry’s children were too traumatised to speak.

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