Two white pensioners murdered, KZN

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Smith Marvis 70 Waterfall MURDERED

VICTORIA PARK, Waterfall, Hillcrest, KZN. Above is kind-hearted pensioner Mavis Smith’s last photograph, taken on Christmas Day at the home of her daughter, Brenda Moffatt in Glen Anil.  Mavis Smith was strangled to death on Jan 13 2011 by intruders in her home. Three weeks earlier, pensioner Evelyn Hodnett was also beaten to death in her Prince Street, Durban beachfront flat. http://www.dailynews.co.za/index.php?fArticleId=5348240

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Daily News reporter Barbara Cole writes: ‘great-grandmother Mavis Smith of Waterfall had everything to live for. Her newest great-grandchild, Sienna Moffatt, had just been born and 74-year-old Smith home she had lived in for the past 15 years was on the market and, after two years of planning, she was “just a signature away” from emigrating to Australia to live with one of her four daughters, Lara Colley, and her family. Smith, who lived alone, never got to see her new great-granddaughter, celebrate with her friend or pack her bags for a new life in Brisbane. For last Thursday night she was strangled to death in her home at the Victoria Park complex, Waterfall, seven kilometres from Hillcrest.

HODNETT EVELYN AND SMITH MAVIS KZN PENSIONERS MURDERED JAN2011 “And all for a cellphone and a very old TV which was later dumped,” said one of her daughters, Adele Downing, who flew from her home in Ireland when she got the tragic news of her mother’s death. Her sister, Lara, boarded the first plane from Australia and arrived in Durban at the weekend, joining up with her sister, Brenda Moffatt, who lives in Durban. A fourth sister, Cheryl Barrett, was unable to make it from America. Their mother’s handbag, containing her purse and R300, which she was going to use to pay her car licence, was also stolen. “We knew she had that in her purse as Cheryl had sent her $50, which mom changed so that she could pay her tax,” Downing said.

Neighbours became suspicious on Friday morning, and when they called out Smith’s name and got no response, they went to investigate – and discovered her body. Smith’s brother, Rodney Copeland, who telephoned relatives all over the world to tell them the horrible news, had the dreadful job of identifying his sister’s body yesterday.Other members of the family converged on the pensioner’s home and tried to make sense of the tragedy. “It was a very tough day. We found the gifts she had bought for little Sienna. “And when we opened the fridge, we found a lovely tart she had made for her friend’s birthday,” Downing said.“My mom did not deserve this. She never harmed anyone in her life. She was the nicest, kindest person you could ever wish to meet and would have given her last penny away to anyone who needed it,” Downing said.Smith lived in Durban all her life, first in Stellawood Road and then Durban North before moving to Waterfall. She was a divorcee, whose ex-husband had since died.She used to do administration work at Addington Hospital and was well known, said Downing, adding that “the phone has been ringing all day with people who knew her calling in”.Everyone was hopeful that whoever was responsible would be brought to book and justice served.“It would be a relief,” Downing said. Provincial police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane, said no arrests had been made.

About Adriana Stuijt
Retired South African-Dutch journalist formerly Sunday Times Johannesburg

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