Daily Dispatch

Fair­lands vic­tim also blud­geoned

Son hires pri­vate de­tec­tive

- By BAR­BARA HOL­LANDS Crime · Incidents · London · East London · Fairlands

FOR­MER Port Rex High School teacher Keith Fer­reira, who was stran­gled and found ly­ing face down in his lounge on Oc­to­ber 30 in his Fair­lands Home, was also blud­geoned in the face.

This was re­vealed by his son Gavin Fer­reira and the home.

The 86-year-old was stran­gled to death with ei­ther a rope or a belt in his cot­tage almost three weeks ago and found ly­ing next to a small pool of blood.

Fer­reira has hired ace pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tor Christian Botha to get to the bot­tom of who killed his fa­ther whom he de­scribed as “a soft and gen­tle Christian”.

“The pho­tos Christian Botha has show it is very ap­par­ent there was blunt-force trauma to the left-hand side of his face. I just hope he was hit hard enough that he was knocked un­con­scious be­fore he was stran­gled,” Fer­reira said.

He said it was also pos­si­ble that his fa­ther’s wal­let had been stolen by his mur­derer be­cause the lin­ing of his back pocket had been pulled out and there was no sign of money or a bank card in the neat flat.

“I need to know who dis­re­spected my fa­ther like this. There is a huge hole in my soul and my life will never get back on track un­til I know who is re­spon­si­ble. I have to do it for my fam­ily’s hon­our.”

Fer­reira said his fa­ther had in­stalled a bur­glar gate when he moved to Fair­lands at the be­gin­ning of the year after ex­pe­ri­enc­ing se­cu­rity prob­lems at his Ama­linda home.

It is thought he was killed by some­one he knew be­cause his front door and se­cu­rity gate were un­locked when Fair­lands staff found his body after he failed to ap­pear in the din­ing room for lunch twice in a row.

Botha said he was await­ing the au­topsy re­port in or­der to nar­row down the time of death and was also ex­am­in­ing CCTV footage and in­spect­ing who had had ac­cess to the home.

Fer­reira’s death was ini­tially thought to have been of nat­u­ral causes un­til the un­der­taker raised the alarm that it ap­peared he had been stran­gled. Fol­low­ing a po­lice post­mortem, the SAPS con­firmed he had been choked to death.

Botha said it would be “10 times harder” to gather foren­sic ev­i­dence as the scene had been con­tam­i­nated be­fore po­lice ar­rived.

Ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the East London Se­nior Cit­i­zen’s As­so­ci­a­tion Colleen Pet­zer said it was “not ab­nor­mal” that Fer­reira’s flat had been cleaned.

“If any­one passes away, we don’t like the fam­ily to see, so we al­ways clean up very quickly. Some­times I wish we hadn’t cleaned up so quickly [in this case].”

Pet­zer said she was in the process of as­cer­tain­ing whether the clean­ing company con­tracted by the home cleaned Fer­reira’s flat on the day be­fore his body was found to nar­row down the time of death.

She said the home’s el­derly res­i­dents are a “lit­tle frightened and some have had se­cu­rity gates fit­ted to their front and back doors”.

Pet­zer said more ad­vanced se­cu­rity cam­eras were be­ing fit­ted at the front gate that will pick up fa­cial fea­tures and num­ber plates of those en­ter­ing the Cam­bridge re­tire­ment home.

Po­lice spokesman Cap­tain Mluleki Mbi said no ar­rests had been made.

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