AN 89-year-old man was fighting for his life in a Port Elizabeth hospital last night after a brutal attack at his house in Lorraine – and a Motherwell mother was murdered in her house while her husband was at a rugby practice.
The two violent attacks in the city both happened on Monday night.
This brings the number of home robberies involving excessive violence in the city over the past week to four. A total of three people have died in the attacks, including a Broadwood domestic worker and a Rowallan Park man.
Yesterday, the families of pensioner Thomas de Kock, of Rennes Street, Lorraine, and health department employee Noluvuyo Tyaliti, 31, of Ngxangxosi Street, Motherwell NU3, struggled to come to terms with the senseless violence.
Tyaliti, a human resources officer for the health department’s Cacadu offices, was found dead in her home by her husband, Monde, at about 8pm.
Monde, who had moved to his uncle’s home in Newton Park last night with the couple’s one-year-old daughter, Olwethu, was too upset to talk to the media.
His uncle, Henry Tyaliti, said Noluvuyo had moved from East London three months ago to live with her husband – a sports department officer and Spring Rose Rugby Club coach. The got married two years ago.
According to police and family members, Tyaliti had been watching TV at home with Olwethu, her sister Busi and the domestic worker when three men entered the living room asking for Monde.
Telling the men that Monde was not home, Tyaliti begged them not to kill anyone and to take what they wanted and leave. The men took the three women’s cellphones and some money before ordering them to lie face-down on the floor.
The women were tied up and threatened with death if they made a noise. They then grabbed Noluvuyo and dragged her into the next room.
In a bizarre move, one of the men then gave Noluvuyo’s spectacles to Olwethu, who had been crying, to calm her down.
"[Busi and the domestic worker] don’t know what happened in there but they heard her screaming and later she was quiet.
"When my nephew returned from a rugby practice just after 8pm, he noticed that the house was quiet,” Henry said.
"He yelled to see if there was anybody home, but was greeted by the domestic and his wife’s sister still covered in a blanket on the dining room floor.
"They both uncovered themselves and alerted him by pointing fingers that there were three gunmen in one of the rooms.
"He went through the back door to inspect what was happening through a window, but only discovered his wife’s body. Around her neck was a wire or a rope which was used to strangle her.”
Henry said his nephew could not talk about the tragedy yet.
"It is still too hard for him [Monde] to talk about this.”
Police are investigating a case of murder and robbery.
Meanwhile, De Kock, who was known for his kindness to the homeless and the hungry, was in a critical condition in Livingstone Hospital last night.
He sustained severe internal injuries and heavy bruising of the chest as a result of a beating.
His eldest daughter, Monica de Wet, 49, who lives in Sabie, Mpumalanga, was shocked at the news.
"He’s just so kind to everyone. He actually spends more than he can afford helping the community. I’m shocked that such an old person, with such kindness in his heart, could be so savagely attacked,” she said.
Monica and her husband, Thys, said they would be coming to Port Elizabeth to be with her father.
"We’ve actually been trying to get him to sell that house for a while now. I think, after all this, we’ll move him out of there,” she said.
Police spokesman Captain Johan Rheeder said the motive for the attack was a mystery.
"He lived alone, but often gave out parcels of food and clothing to homeless people from the area. It’s still unclear whether they even stole anything,” Rheeder said.
Last week, domestic worker Sonia Mabedla, 42, was hacked to death in a botched robbery by a panga-wielding man at her employers’ home in Tobias Street, Broadwood.
And on Sunday, the body of Rowallan Park resident and former Continental Tyre employee David Laine, 64, was found dead on his living room floor by his brother.
He had been stabbed in the neck with a screwdriver by robbers, who fled with only his cellphone.
Private security companies say there has been an increase in violent crime in certain areas of the city and have warned residents to be vigilant.