This weekend, residents of an upmarket suburb, saw the undignified murder at Lydiana of an elderly gentleman, proud of his independence and self-reliance.
On Friday afternoon October 18, Henry Coetzee (88) was attacked. First his hands were tied behind his back, next his feet. Then a bed sheet was taped tightly around his head, with masking tape. Henry was then forced to lie on his stomach and left to suffocate and die, an agonisingly slow death.
The horrendous and undignified murder at Lydiana was discovered by the owner of Yarona Guesthouse, Clive Symington on Saturday morning. Symington suspects that Henry went for a walk and was attacked on Friday afternoon, because he was still wearing his normal clothes, when he was found.
“Henry normally changes into his pyjamas in the late afternoon and go to bed around six.” said Clive Symington.
Clive described his neighbour as a proud person and that he would not accept offers for help or meals, from people in the neighbourhood.
Prior to his retirement, Henry Coetzee worked for an oil company and traveled extensively.
“He always boasted that he was his own man and could go as he pleased,” said Clive.
“It was a shock to see the dignified old gentleman, degraded like this. It is not yet certain whether he suffocated or whether he suffered a heart attack during the attack,” Clive said.
“An autopsy has yet to be done. We saw no visible injuries to Henry.”
Clive said, that Henry would normally go shopping on Saturdays, with another neighbour also living in Suikerbos Avenue.
“Henry usually stands outside the gate waiting. When he was not there on Saturday, the neighbour suspected wrongdoing and called me because I have a key to Henry’s house. We then went together and discovered the murder,” said Clive.
Clive says Henry’s wife died decades ago and that he had no children or pets.
“He was lonely and often came and sat here, for some company. Whenever we offered him something to eat or offered to help clean his house, he would not accept it. He also did not have a domestic worker. Henry lived on breakfast cereals, fruits and food drinks. He was a very neat person. I often suggested, that he should come and live in the Guest house, but he declined.”
Arrests made for the undignified murder at Lydiana
Pretoria police spokesman Michael Nel, confirmed Henry Coetzee was found with his hands and feet tied behind his back. “We are investigating a case of murder, although the motive is not yet known. No one has been arrested yet.”