Durban — Verulam police arrested a man in connection with his mother's murder in Hazelmere on Friday morning.
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda said that the landlady who owns the room the suspect was renting with his mother became suspicious when she did not see the mother for days. When she asked the son how his mother was doing he would only say that she was fine but refused to open the door.
“On Friday morning the landlord forced the suspect to open the door and the decomposing body of his mother was found lying on the bed,” Netshiunda said.
The circumstances that led to the murder form part of police investigations, he said.
Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) spokesperson Prem Balram said that a 33-year-old man was arrested for murdering his mother in Hazelmere.
He said an off-duty police officer living in the area contacted Rusa for help at approximately 8.04am regarding the disappearance of an elderly woman.
Reaction officers were immediately dispatched and arrived on the scene with the Verulam SAPS, Balram said.
“Rusa paramedics entered a room and discovered the decomposing body of 72-year-old Daw Kerr on a bed in their rented communal housing room.
“Her son initially informed first responders that she died due to natural causes.”
Balram said that other residents told law enforcement officers that the victim was last seen on Tuesday. They had asked her son about her well-being but he provided reasons as to why she did not want to be disturbed.
“This morning (Friday) they confronted him and demanded to conduct a wellness check on her.
“They suspected that she was deceased due to a pungent smell emanating from the room. They thereafter approached the off-duty SAPS official for assistance who contacted the Rusa Operations Centre and Verulam SAPS charge office.”
Balram said that in an interview, the son gave Rusa officers and the police different versions of events which led to the victim’s death.
Balram said that after further questioning, he confirmed that his mother lived at a home in South Beach, Durban, that specialises in caring for frail individuals. She arrived at his home two weeks ago to visit him.
On Tuesday, he decided to bathe her in the bathroom. He alleged that she refused to be bathed by him and turned violent and in a moment of anger he pushed her.
The woman fell to the ground and suffered head injuries. He dressed her and placed her on the bed before cleaning the blood from the bathroom.
The man left the property but later returned and discovered her deceased. He did not advise anyone of her demise and stayed in the room with her partially decomposing body for the following three nights. During the day he would leave and return in the afternoon.
He said the suspect was arrested without incident.
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