Pensioner dies in Houghton ‘hit’

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Copy of ST Houghton robbery 008 INLSA Police investigators at a house in Houghton were an elderly homeowner was shot dead. It is not clear whether it was a contract killing or an attempted robbery, but the police say nothing was stolen. Photo: Itumeleng English


Johannesburg - A 76-year-old man was shot dead in his Houghton home on Monday morning in what may have been a hit. Neighbours heard two shots at about 6.30. Police and security companies were soon on the scene in Central Avenue.

Initial talk was of two or three intruders thought to have jumped over the wall of the property.

They allegedly confronted a gardener and demanded to see the man who owned the property.

“They said they want the old man because they wanted to shoot him,” said a security official.

“When they found him, they immediately shot him, in front of his wife and left without taking anything.

“She saw the whole thing.

“To me, it sounds like a hit,” said the official.

It’s a leafy, quiet neighbourhood where people walk their dogs.

Shocked neighbours confirmed hearing the shooting.


“I said to my husband: ‘What’s that?’” said one neighbour.

Shootings are not uncommon in the area, said her husband, but usually come from the office blocks along Central Avenue.

“I thought it was the guards here. They normally shoot at the offices,” he said.

He said the elderly couple had lived there for decades. “He’s such a lovely guy,” he said.

Nobody wanted to be named.

SAPS Norwood spokesman Constable Thabo Malatji said there were likely to have been two intruders – men in their thirties who entered the property by forcing open the gate. One of them forced the gardener to take them inside. There, he confronted the homeowner.

“He spoke in Zulu and said: ‘I will shoot you.’ He fired one shot, which hit the deceased in the stomach,” said Malatji. The men then fled without taking anything. They fired two shots at the dogs on the way out.

“It is unclear why he shot him – there were other people inside the house, but he didn’t shoot them,” said Malatji.

“We cannot confirm whether it was a hit or a robbery, but nothing was taken from the house,” he said.

There have been no arrests.

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