Sean Bloch was to treat his elderly parents to breakfast. Instead when he arrived at their Mowbray home, he found they had been murdered.
Bloch described how at 9am yesterday he found his mother, Rosalie Bloch, 84, and his stepfather Aubrey Jackson, 96, tied-up and strangled.
“It’s all very fresh in my mind. The top brass (of the police) are on the case and they are reviewing surveillance footage from the surrounding areas. We know there’s a lot of media attention because of Cheryl (Carolus),” he said.
Struggle activist Carolus is married to one of Rosalie’s other sons, Graeme Bloch.
Graeme and Carolus were returning home from the Cederberg when Graeme received the call that his parents had been murdered.
A third son, Lance Bloch, who lives in Joburg, was emotional when he spoke to Weekend Argus about his parents.
Rosalie had been a high-profile member of the human rights organisation, the Black Sash.
“She was an attorney and helped a lot of detainees (during the Struggle). She was always there and present for us growing up.”
He said his mother and Jackson had been together for the past 30 years and had been extremely loving.
“They found each other quite late in life and got together when they were much older.
“He was her common-law husband and they lived a pretty happy and active life in their old age and were always so youthful. He was a pretty feisty character,” said Lance.
Police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said the police were investigating a case of double murder.
“We cannot determine at what time they were murdered, but we believe this was a robbery-turned murder,” said Rwexana.
The road where the couple lived was cordoned off yesterday as police searched the immediate surrounding areas.
The forensics team combed the house for evidence most of the afternoon, while police questioned neighbours.
Residents stood outside their homes in shock. Neighbour, Earl, who didn’t want to give his surname, said that the couple had often had their home broken into.
“He gets burgled so often but he chooses to live life normally like most of us around here -without an electric fence.”
Earl said his family had owned their house for 38 years and that the Blochs had been there for longer than that.
“In the mornings, I used to see him doing exercises on his balcony. He was old but sprightly and I would always greet him,” said Earl.
Another neighbour said UCT students living in residences nearby were often targeted by criminals.
“The UCT students often get robbed here but there is UCT security that rides around and private security guards. It’s just a little overwhelming to see all the police.”
Condolences poured in for the family last night. ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said: “We strongly condemn the cowardly act visited on the defenceless and elderly. It is disheartening to note that we still have, amongst us, those who are determined to trample on other people’s right to live, driven by selfish and cruel intentions.”
Dean of St George’s Cathedral Reverend Michael Weeder wrote on Facebook: “I pray that the family will take comfort from the way their loved ones feasted on the goodness of the perennial struggle for justice.”