The body of a homeless man was found near the ash of a burnt out fire in a veld in Ashburnham. Picture: Soraya Crowie

Kimberley - The plight of Kimberley’s homeless has come under the spotlight again following the discovery of the body of a man in a veld next to Rest Haven Old Age Home in Ashburnham after one of the coldest nights of the year in the city.
The homeless man’s body, which was noticeably malnourished, was found dressed in tattered shorts, a T-shirt and shirt and lying without any covering next to some ashes on Thursday morning.

Another homeless man, Nico Seekoei, said that he had shared a space under a tree with the deceased for about three weeks.

Seekoei said that he did not know the name of the deceased or whether he had any family.

“We stay in this veld under the tree. This man came and asked to stay here with me. I told him that I did not have much and could not even share my blanket with him as it is too small. He, however, stayed here with me over the weeks. We would individually go and search for something to eat during the day and meet again at the tree at night,” said Seekoei.

He said that the deceased had complained about having pain in his body on Wednesday night.

“He said that he had some pain in his side for the past few days. I advised him to go to the clinic so they could examine him. He never went. Last night (Wednesday night) was freezing and he again complained about the pain. I made a little fire for him to be warm.

“Early in the morning I left him to collect some plastic bottles to sell. He was still alive when I left but I could see he was not well. Upon my return I found him dead,” Seekoei said.

The body of the unknown man was found by a passer-by on Thursday morning.

Police spokesperson, Captain Sergio Kock, said that the police have opened an inquest following the discovery of the man’s body.

“The police in Kimberley are investigating an inquest into the death of an unknown male. On Thursday, August 9, at 9:30am, the police were alerted about the body of a man that was found in a veld next to the Rest Haven Old Age Home in Ashburnham in Kimberley. A homeless man informed the police that he and the deceased slept under the tree and that the victim complained of pain the night before and died in the morning.

“The deceased is approximately 1.7m tall, suspected to be in his thirties, dark in complexion, slender, has some missing front teeth, black curly hair and looks like a coloured male.

“No foul play is suspected at this stage, however, an autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death.

“Anyone with information that might assist the police can call Detective Warrant Officer Kenneth Lemoen on 082 302 0407.

“The investigation continues,” said Kock.

Diamond Fields Advertiser