South Africa – KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC, Nonhlanhla Khoza, has called on law enforcement agencies to work around the clock to ensure that criminals involved in the murder of a senior citizen are brought to book.
Henrietta Nzimande, 78, was found murdered at her home in KwaDambuza, Pietermaritzburg last week.
Nzimande’s mutilated body was discovered by her daughter. It is believed that Nzimande, who lived alone, died from strangulation and some of her body parts were missing.
Condemning Nzimande’s murder, Khoza said the department is highly disappointed that senior citizens continue to be murdered like this.
“We want to ensure that perpetrators are found and are made to pay for their sins,” Khoza said.
It is also believed that Nzimande was murdered after being accused of witchcraft.
“These types of crimes in our province show that we have a lot of people who have lost their moral compass. There are vicious criminals that continue to murder our senior citizens and rob them of their belongings, including old age grants.
“Our people need to learn that if an old person resides alone it doesn’t mean that he or she is involved in witchcraft. We have many of our senior citizens who prefer to be alone in their homes or live by themselves because their relatives are working far away,” the MEC said.
Do not to turn a blind eye
The MEC appealed to the relatives and communities in general not to turn a blind eye if they see an old person staying alone, but to contact social workers in order to take care of the elderly.
“Leaving an old person alone at home makes them very vulnerable; hence we always encourage our communities to ensure that they inform us of such cases, in order to take them to safe places where they will receive 24-hour care.
“We have a lot of old age homes and they are made to protect our elderly people. We urge our communities to make use of these facilities in order to save the lives of our parents,” Khoza said.
She added that the department has full confidence in the police, and “we believe that the net will soon close in on the killers”.
The MEC sent her heartfelt condolences to Nzimande’s family and her neighbours.
A team of social workers has been dispatched to meet with the family to provide psychosocial support.SAnews