Community crime-fighter shot dead at home
DAYS after celebrating his 47th birthday, Lenasia crimefighter Rajen Reddy was shot in the heart and died outside his home on Friday night.
And the next day the body of another resident, Rana Singh, 61, was found dumped along a local road. A shocked passer-by found his body, which had multiple stabs wounds, wrapped in a duvet cover.
According to a source, it is alleged that Singh was kidnapped. His mouth was gagged with a cloth and sealed with duct tape.
“In addition to his injuries, his neck was bound with string and his feet was slightly burnt. His track pants were halfway below his buttocks.
“We believe he was murdered in another area and his body dumped on the roadside.”
With two murders in two days and violent crime on the increase, the community of Lenasia is up in arms.
Fellow crime-fighter Derek Pillay said that minutes after his friend Reddy had said goodbye to his son Jodache, who had dropped off his sister, Janelle at their home, he was fatally shot in chest.
The shooting occurred at about 7.15pm on Friday.
“Rajen went outside to open the gate for Janelle. She went into the house and Rajen was standing in the yard saying goodbye to his son.
“Seconds after his son drove off, an unknown male walked to his gate and started talking to him. Moments later the man pulled out a gun and shot him twice in the chest. The bullets pierced his heart and the suspect fled the scene.”
When Reddy’s wife Sandra and daughter heard the shots, said Pillay, they looked out the window, only to see Reddy on the ground.
“They rushed to his aid and called neighbours to help them. Rajen was bleeding profusely and they were hysterical. Another patroller stepped in to help.
“He called police and paramedics but unfortunately Rajen’s injuries were too severe and he died at the scene.”
Pillay described the murder as baffling.
“Rajen was a peaceful and humble man who would not harm a fly. He’d just celebrated his 47th birthday. I cannot understand why someone would do this to him. Nobody knows what transpired between him and that man.
“His wife and children are finding it very hard to cope.”
The grandfather of one worked as a project manager, was a member of the Lenasia CPF and was passionate about fighting crime.
“He always fought against crime in a non-violent manner. Every Thursday and Sunday from 8pm until 11pm he patrolled the whole of Extension 13 with a team.
“On Thursday after his first patrol he joined another group from 12am until 4am to patrol the whole of Lenasia. That’s how dedicated he was.”
Pillay said crime in Lenasia was escalating.
“We recently had a pensioner who was murdered in his home. Hijackings and house robberies are on the rise. We understand the SAPS has limited resources and as a community we are trying to assist. Our challenge is that from the whole of Lenasia, we have only about 10% of residents who are interested in doing patrols.”
Tributes have been pouring in for Reddy, with many calling him a hero.
Kishore Badal said the community was stunned at the killing of a “gentle human being” who sacrificed his nights, time and peace to assist in keeping others safe.
“We sympathise with the family and the friends, particularly the patrollers, and pray that they receive the strength and courage to cope with this immense loss.
“We are extremely sorry and feel your loss.”
Lenasia SAPS is investigating the matter but no arrests have yet been made.
A 50-year-old suspect has been arrested in connection with Singh’s murder and is due to appear in the Lenasia Magistrate’s Court this week.
Police spokesperson Mpanda Khoza said the motive for the murder was being investigated.