Shock at murder of retired doctor
Elderly residents of complex left jittery after killing in east of city
ELDERLY residents at a Newlands retirement village are shaken by the murder of a fellow pensioner whose body was discovered by a domestic worker yesterday morning.
Retired cardiologist Dr WJ Francois Steenkamp, 71, was murdered at his home in the Newlands Park Retirement Village, sending shock waves through the community of about 100.
Police spokeswoman Captain Colette Weilbach said Steenkamp’s domestic worker discovered his body at about 8.35am. “She found her employer on the floor in one of the bedrooms and immediately called for help.
“There were no signs of forced entry, but all the rooms were found ransacked. It is assumed that the incident occurred some time the previous night. It is believed the attackers fled with a white Toyota Tazz that belonged to Steenkamp,” she said.
It is understood that Steenkamp sustained a head wound which may have led to his death.
An official at the village, who did not want to be identified, said the residents were jittery. “They are very concerned. Many of them live on their own and are frail,” she said.
The woman said the village had access control, “which is obviously inadequate”, but a new security company was being appointed.
She said this was the first incident of this nature. Two weeks ago there was a theft. “We have had problems with vagrants outside the fence on previous occasions, but this has been addressed,” she said.
Steenkamp worked as a cardiologist at the Pretoria Heart Hospital until his retirement. He leaves behind a daughter and three sons.
One of Steenkamp’s sons goes by the same name and is a doctor at the Little Company of Mary Hospital.
Hospital manager James Wiegand said Steenkamp jr had not been in his consulting rooms yesterday and could not provide a forwarding number. “Apparently he has been driving around all day making arrangements with his family,” said Wiegand.
Weilbach said Steenkamp jr had expressed no intention to speak to the media at this stage as the family was still coming to terms with the tragedy.
She said the Sunnyside trio task team – responsible for investigating violent crimes like hijacking, house and business robberies – had taken on the case. “We will not leave any stone unturned to catch the suspects for this senseless deed and to put them behind bars. The police are investigating a murder and a house robbery case,” she said.
Weilbach appealed to anyone that could assist the police with information to phone the Crime Stop number, 086 001 0111.