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KZN grandmother beaten during violent home invasion dies in hospital

Bhanmathie Somaroo.

Bhanmathie Somaroo.

Published Jun 9, 2022

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Durban: Bhanmathie Somaroo, who was beaten by armed robbers during a farm attack last month, has died.

The 68-year-old was in her home in Doringkop, KwaDukuza, on the morning of May 5, when five men jumped over a fence and into the property. She was in the kitchen and her brother-in-law was at the front of the house.

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Dolly Fudu, Somaroo's sister, said the robbers attacked the brother-in-law first.

"When he saw the robbers, he screamed to alert Bhanmathie. She, in turn, went to see what was happening. He tried to run to safety but was attacked. He was hit on the head with the butt of a gun and the handle of a knife.

“Three men then dragged him indoors, while two others grabbed and assaulted my sister. She was punched, beaten and also dragged into the house. Her hands and feet were tied with wire."

Fudu said both victims were dragged from room to room to point out where the valuables were kept.

"They ransacked the house and stole money, cellphones, jewellery, guns, IDs and some paperwork."

She said the brother-in-law still had his cellphone and managed to call their neighbours. The robbers fled on foot.

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When the neighbours arrived, they called the police and Somaroo and her brother-in-law were taken to a clinic.

"They both had injuries to their bodies and heads. He was discharged that evening, but due to the severity of her wounds, my sister was admitted to Stanger Hospital. They found that she had a brain bleed."

Somaroo was discharged on May 20 and lived with Fudu in Tongaat for a week.

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"But her health took a turn for the worse and she was admitted to Osindisweni Hospital. She died on June 3 as a result of her injuries."

She was cremated on Sunday at Stanger Crematorium.

Fudu said Somaroo's husband, a farmer, who lhad gone to buy diesel for the farm that day, was devastated.

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"He is still in shock. This is the fifth time they have been victims of robbery. Only this time, it ended in a fatality. Now only he and his brother live on the farm. It's difficult for them to move out, as they were born and brought up there. It is inherited farmland from their forefathers."

She said Somaroo had no children and worked on the sugarcane and vegetable farm with her husband.

"We will really miss her. She was a simple, caring, down to earth person. I remember our last conversation. She thanked me for taking care of her and she wanted me to live with her."

Fudu said the family were afraid to visit the farm: "We don't know when they will strike again."

The police did not comment at the time of publication.

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