Criminals becoming more brazen
WHEN pupils and staff of Southlands Secondary in Chatsworth gather for the memorial ceremony of their former principal, Gona Pillay next week, they will bow their heads in prayer and recall with pride and fondness her inspiring role as an educator.
She was, by most accounts, a caring and generous human being who went way beyond the normal call of duty to serve her students and her community. The glowing tributes paid to her over the weekend, and elsewhere in this paper, are fitting testimony to this.
But what they will find difficult to come to terms with is the chilling and brutal manner in which the much-loved and respected educationist lost her life – ambushed and knifed to death in the sanctity of her home in Silverglen, Chatsworth, by men posing as potential buyers.
They will also share in the feelings of utter grief and desolation being felt by her husband Logie, who is still recovering in hospital from injuries he sustained in the attack.
Rampant crime is taking a heavy toll on communities and as much as we try to keep ourselves and our families safe by building high boundary walls and investing in high tech alarm systems, criminals appear to becoming more brazen by the day.
In this instance, it turns out the Pillays had been planning to sell their seven-bedroom home in Silverglen so they could downsize and move into a smaller property they had already purchased.
It is alleged an estate agent phoned the Pillays ahead of the attack to say “buyers” wanted to view the property. But they obviously had other more murderous intentions in mind.
Arrests have been made and justice will have to take its course.
But if anything has to be learnt from this tragic episode, it’s the reminder that criminals tend to see senior citizens who live alone as easy targets for their evil deeds.
Seniors very often find themselves victims of criminals posing as work-seekers; offering to do gardening or home repairs; and sometimes even posing as electricity meter readers so they can gain unlawful access to a property.
It is important that people are mindful that these crimes can and do occur and to take preventative measures against them. One way of doing this is by systematically eliminating anything that could give a potential criminal a better opportunity to commit a crime against you.
Be on guard at all times and aware of the potential dangers in the home.