They raised their concerns, but were ignored. Days later, Seabi Kutumela, 73, claimed he confronted his sister-in-law to ask what had happened to his 77-year-old brother Frans Kutumela. Neighbours had asked him to intervene as they had not seen him in a while.
Seabi on Tuesday told the Pretoria News that people in the neighbourhood informed him that something was not right because they had not seen his brother for 10 days, and that was not like him.
“My brother and I live a few houses apart here on Malibe Street. When I heard he had been missing I went there to confront his wife. She was very defensive and initially did not want to let me inside the house to look for my brother.
“I had gone there with some guys from the community. We told her we knew that she and my brother did not share a bedroom.
"I asked to check if my brother was available in his bedroom, but she insisted that he was not there. When she finally gave in to my insistence to enter the house, a terrible smell overwhelmed me.”
In his version, Seabi said he looked into his brother’s room, but Kutumela was not there. He claimed to have seen about 15 chairs put on his brother’s bed, and insisted that he wanted to look for him in the wife’s bedroom.
“When I opened that bedroom door I was hit by a swarm of flies. I looked down and my brother’s body was lying on the floor next to the bed. He was in a pool of blood and his neck looked like it had been twisted.”
Seabi said he became very angry and emotional and asked the woman if she had killed his brother. He called the police and told them he suspected the wife, but she was not arrested.
“We buried my brother in the presence of that woman because police investigations last a long time. The woman asked to be removed from the programme and she did not go with the people to the burial site. I remember there was a time when I had to give another statement to the police because apparently the first docket had nothing written in it.”
Seabi’s wife Linda said the family had expected the police to at least arrest the wife after the funeral or take her in for questioning to investigate why she had not reported that there was a dead person in the house if she had nothing to hide.
The family said the funeral was painful because the service was at that house; Frans had inherited it when other siblings bought their own houses.
“The house was given to me by our eldest brother but when I started working, I bought a house and left that with my brother. It pains me to think our family home now belongs to the woman who could have murdered my brother,” Seabi added.
On Tuesday, neighbours and members of #NotInMyName said they saw the police and about nine women struggle to put the wife in the back of an ambulance parked outside the house.
Seabi accused the woman of faking mental illness since the incident. However, he said he would accept her being sent to Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital for observation rather than watching her walk away freely.
Police have yet to comment.