Hunt on after B&B owner slain by panga-wielding intruder in KZN Midlands
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Durban - Police are still searching for a man who bludgeoned to death a Midlands bed and breakfast owner on his premises in Balgowan.
Edourd Neumeister, aka Edi, 67, owned Edi’s Bratwurst Sausage Restaurant and B&B overlooking Caversham Valley. He was murdered on Saturday.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said that at 7.30am Neumeister was attacked by an unknown man who hacked him with a bush knife. Gwala said he died at the scene from his injuries.
He was found in the kitchen. A case of murder has been opened by Nottingham Road SAPS.
Ballid Security spokesperson Riaan Claasen said a known man, armed with a “bush knife”, is still at large.
The Village Talk newspaper reported the suspect was wearing a balaclava and carrying a panga and had also demanded money from Neumeister.
When Neumeister ran into his home the man followed him. The newspaper said Neumeister had woken up early to feed his chickens.
Co-owner of the business Margit Riebler fled the premises unharmed and alerted neighbours. Riebler said she was still in shock and declined to comment.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala on Monday condemned the brutal murder and called on law enforcement agencies to "work around the clock" to ensure the perpetrator was brought to justice.
Midlands Emergency Medical Services Howick said they were met by a gruesome sight.
“It appears that the owner was confronted just outside his office, then hit with a panga.
“At this point it appears there is only one suspect.”
The restaurant is famous for selling German sausages.
Sylvia Neumeister said her father did not deserve to die in such a horrible way. “To our dad who wasn’t always perfect but still our dad, we love you and will sorely miss you! Will miss your sense of humour,” she said.
“The brutal killing is a tragedy. A life was lost to a criminal in such a merciless manner. It will leave a scar on our community for years to come. This is not an isolated incident. We have had more than four incidents in the past six months,” Mnikati said.
Zikalala sent condolences to Neumeister's family, relatives and friends.
"We strongly condemn this senseless and brutal murder of an innocent citizen of our province. We urge our law enforcement agencies to work with speed to ensure that the perpetrator is arrested swiftly and punished," Zikalala said.
He sent condolences to Neumeister's family, relatives and friends.
The premier said he had also requested the province's community safety MEC, Bheki Ntuli, as well as agriculture and rural development MEC, Bongi Sithole-Moloi, to work side-by-side with law enforcement to ensure the crime was swiftly solved.
Farm attacks continued to be a serious cause for concern for the provincial government, said Zikalala, adding "every effort would be made" to ensure rural farming communities were safe.
He said that violent crimes would not be tolerated and warned that those who committed such acts would be dealt with harshly.
uMngeni Local Municipality Proportional Representative councillor Sandile Mnikati described Neumeister as one of the most gentle and loving members of the community.
On Facebook, customers paid tribute to Neumeister.
Fikile B Ngubane said: “It is so sad. Edi was good to all the people.”
Lia Kraus said: “He will always be remembered for his hospitality.”
Theresa Ann said: “My favourite place Edi was such a gentle soul. I am devastated.”
Babalwa Edgar said: “It hits differently when you’ve experienced the warmth of the company of the person murdered. I enjoyed every minute spent with him and his partner.”