David Govender was found murdered in his Reservoir Hills home last week. Picture: Supplied

Durban - Police have confirmed that five people were taken in for questioning following the murder of Reservoir Hills pensioner David Govender. 

The 88-year-old was found dead in a drum in the basement of his home. on September 4.

His hand and feet were bound with rope and a cloth was stuffed into his mouth.  

Govender, a retired builder, lived in the 11-bedroom home with his 97-year-old sister Govindamma.

She suffers from dementia. He was never married and did not have children.

Govindamma is now living at the ABH Home in Chatsworth.

His body was recovered by SAPS Search and Rescue after his relative, Selbrin Govender, was unable to find him.

The house where the murder took place in Reservoir Hills. Video by Zainul Dawood

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane confirmed that five suspects were taken in for questioning but were later released.

"The police are still searching for the suspects. Anyone with information is requested to contact the Sydenham SAPS."

A  case of murder and robbery is being investigated. 

Speaking to POST, Selbrin said he had asked his elderly uncle to relocate to Johannesburg where he could take care of him and his 97-year-old bedridden aunt, but his request was turned down.

Selbrin, who last visited his uncle on August 25, said he believed his uncle was killed during a robbery soon after he returned to Johannesburg.

His calls to his uncle during the week, he said, went answered.

Selbrin said when he arrived earlier in the day on Wednesday, he found his severely dehydrated aunt, who suffers from dementia, on the bed.

“I travel to Durban for work (he is a quantity surveyor for a petroleum corporate) and checked in on them every week. I also called my uncle every Sunday at around 8pm. He had a hearing problem and we settled on that time for me to call.

“I visited them on Sunday (August 25) and tried calling the following day but there was no answer and he did not return the call. I assumed he was busy.”

He said he returned to Durban last Monday, September 2, and went to the home the following afternoon.

“The kitchen light was on and I called for him but there was no answer. I eventually left and returned last Wednesday with the spare key to the house.”

He said he found his aunt in bed but he could not find his uncle.

“I walked around the property and got a foul smell near the basement. I did not think much of it and left to see the neighbour.”

Selbrin said he later noticed his uncle’s medication on the floor and drawers from his cupboard had been removed, leading him to believe something was wrong.

“I drove to the Addington Hospital to check if he was there but he had not been admitted. I then went to the Sydenham police station and opened a missing person case.”

He called the private security company, Inkosi Security, and they arrived at the home with Chad Russow from Detector Dog. The dog, he said, sniffed around the drums and Russow informed him that the foul smell was not an animal but could be a decomposing body.

They notified SAPS Search and Rescue.

“When they opened one of the drums, they saw his body. It was already decomposing. I could not bring myself to see it.”

Selbrin described the killing as “inhumane and senseless”.

“He was a harmless man, who lived to care for his sister. Her well-being was all that mattered. I want justice. If our law enforcement fails, I will hire private investigators to handle the matter.”

POST