Cape Town – St George's Cathedral parishioners are reeling in shock after the discovery of the body of a 76-year-old congregant found bound to a chair in her Rondebosch home.
Pat Ellies, who lived on Station Road for more than 20 years, was found dead yesterday at about 3.35am.
It is alleged she might have suffered a heart attack while bound to the chair, but police spokesperson Siyabulela Malo said the circumstances were being investigated and an autopsy would determine the cause of death.
“According to information, the members attended the scene and upon their arrival they found the body of a 76-year-old female in her bedroom.
“It is alleged that the house was ransacked and other electronic appliances and a vehicle were stolen.
“The circumstances surrounding this incident are being investigated and arrests are yet to be made.
“Our detectives are working around the clock in an effort to find the perpetrators,” Malo said.
Ellies’s vehicle was found abandoned in Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay.
A case of murder, house robbery and theft of a motor vehicle has been opened for investigation, Malo added.
St George’s Cathedral Dean Michael Weeder said: “It is a very sad day for us and we extend our heartfelt condolences to her family.
"I was informed she is survived by two of her sisters who live in England.
“When I heard about this I also went to the local police station to inquire about the incident. I was informed it was a house robbery incident.
"The suspects managed to stop the alarm which went off and she died on the bed. I can just imagine how terrified she might have been.”
Weeder described Ellies as a person with a big heart who loved music.
She was also known as an activist for her participation in the famous 1985 Purple Rain Protest.
In a separate incident, a 68-year-old Lakeside woman was sexually assaulted on Tuesday by a man who attempted to steal items in her house.
Muizenberg station’s commander Vassie Naidoo said at about 11.45am a white VW Citi Golf with three suspects approached the resident’s house in Devon Road.
“One suspect proceeded to gain entry into the residence, where he sexually assaulted the 68-year-old female owner. The elderly lady fought back which prevented anything from being taken from the residence,” Naidoo said.
The neighbourhood watch alerted the police and a local security company.
After a car chase, two of the three suspects aged 28 and 30 were arrested and the Citi Golf recovered.
Naidoo said the police were searching for the last suspect. Anyone with information can anonymously contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or SMS Crime Line on 32211.