Suspect gets off murder rap
THE family of slain Nela Murugan believed they were one step closer to getting justice after a suspect was arrested in connection with the murder.
But they were left shattered after the accused was released because of a lack of evidence.
Murugan, 75, who lived alone, was found strangled in her home a month ago by neighbours.
A 22-year-old woman was charged with her murder and appeared in the Lenasia Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Lenasia SAPS spokesperson, Captain Hector Netshivhodza, said the woman was arrested after police published an identikit of the wanted suspect, but she was released because of the lack of evidence.
Murugan’s sister, Viji, said she was angry.
“We hoped we could now get some answers, but that is all gone. We were given false hope and that’s not fair,” she said.
“There have been too many attacks on the elderly and it needs to stop. These criminals must be brought to book. If they wanted to rob my sister, then they should have done it. Why take her life?”
Viji said she would not forget the day she learnt Murugan had been killed.
“I was told she passed on. When I arrived at her home, I saw police in her yard and was informed I could not go into the house. I realised something dreadful had happened and my heart sank.”
She said Murugan was trusting and would not harm a fly.
“Nela was frail and suffered with Parkinson’s disease. Her attacker took advantage of her because she was weak.”
Viji said her sister, a widow, did not have children.
Preyalan Pillay, a member of the Community Policing Forum, said at one stage attacks on the elderly was common until patrols were increased.
Things seemed to have settled down, he said.
“The death of Murugan has left the community in shock. We will continue our patrols and crime awareness in the hope that this does not happen again.”
Pillay advised residents to be more cautious.
“Don’t trust and entertain people too easily. Always have your guard up. When hiring people, like gardeners or domestic workers, make sure you get all their information.”