Elderly couple belted in robbery

Kowsilla Maharaj and her husband, Deenanath. Picture: Supplied

Kowsilla Maharaj and her husband, Deenanath. Picture: Supplied

Published May 26, 2024


The family of an elderly Greytown couple, who were bound with cable ties, brutally assaulted with a belt and stabbed with a kitchen knife during a home invasion, are praying for justice.

Kowsilla Maharaj, 64, her husband, Deenanath, 69, and their helper, were attacked by three men who allegedly stormed into their Cathcart Street home recently.

Their son, Shamraj Maharaj, who lives with them, said they hoped the alleged perpetrators, two of whom were arrested shortly afterwards, would face the full might of the law.

Colonel Robert Netshiunda, a provincial police spokesperson, said two men were arrested and charged with house robbery.

Thulani Malunga, 26, and Xhanti Takata, 35, first appeared in Greytown Magistrate’s Court on May 13.

Maharaj, a teacher, said he was at work when he received a call from a neighbour telling him that his parents had been injured during a home invasion.

“When I arrived home, I saw my dad being carried out of the house. He had bruises all over his body and had been assaulted to such an extent that he could not even walk on his own. When I saw my mum, she had also been beaten and was bleeding from her leg. They had stabbed her with her own kitchen knife. Our helper had also been beaten.

“I was told that at about 10am, three men entered the house through the back entrance, which leads into the kitchen. My mom was cooking. They forced her to the floor and tied her hands using cable ties. They also put my dad and the helper on the kitchen floor and tied their hands,” he said.

Maharaj said his parents had pleaded with the men to take whatever they wanted but leave them unharmed.

“But they didn't listen to them. Instead they hit them repeatedly, even using my dad’s belt. One of the men took a knife and stabbed my mum in her right leg just below her knee. They also weren’t wearing masks, so they kept shouting that they must not look at them or they would kill them.

“I am not sure how long the attack lasted, but after taking all of my parents' savings - which is not much as they are pensioners - as well as a small safe, which had my dad’s firearm, they told them that they would be back in 20 minutes and left,” he said.

Maharaj said soon as the men left, the helper managed to free herself and pressed the panic button.

“Our security company, Field Security, arrived within minutes and even worked around the clock to assist in getting the perpetrators apprehended within hours.

“Our helper had run outside and started screaming for help from our neighbours. Shortly thereafter the paramedics and police arrived.

“My parents, who were in a poor condition physically and emotionally, were taken to hospital and spent between four to six days there before being moved to a care facility for further treatment.

“They are currently still at the facility as it will take time before they are fully recovered and can return home. I also took our helper to the doctor. While she is still very traumatised, she is recovering well from her injuries,” he said.

Maharaj said his parents and their entire family were also traumatised.

“I am very angry, as my parents have been living in this house for many decades and this is the first time something like this has happened. We also never had such incidents in our area until recently.

"It seems that homes of the elderly people have become targets in the past few weeks as there have been several thefts out of yards or break-ins. Greytown was always considered the safe haven for the elderly, and the place to live once retired, but it doesn't feel so safe anymore.

“All we want is justice and for those responsible to be imprisoned for what they have done. Why did they have to assault my parents? They were defenceless and even told them to take whatever they wanted. We cannot accept such behaviour in our society. They need to be taught a lesson and a precedent must be set that attacks on the most vulnerable members in our communities will not be tolerated. The law must take its course,” he said.

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