Public Eye (South Africa)

Outcry over Bombay Heights murder

- Shorné Bennie

Hours before Rajendra Chetty (72) was meant to go on a day out with his family, he was stabbed to death in his home by robbers.

His grandchild­ren, who live across the road, were alerted to the incident by a neighbour and rushed over to find their grandfathe­r lying in a pool of blood, gasping for air.

According to Chetty’s grandson, Davelan Saminathan, a neighbour called them after noticing Chetty’s door was open at an odd time of the morning.

“When we got the call, we ran out and we saw two men running from my grandfathe­r’s house. One even tripped and fell, but we were more concerned about my grandfathe­r and getting to him first.

“As we got to the house, we found my grandfathe­r lying on his back in a lot of blood. He was breathing, but gasping for air. He died a few minutes later

nbecause the ambulance took so long to arrive,” said Saminathan.

Chetty, who was recently widowed, had lived in his Bombay Heights home for forty years.

Nothing appeared to have been stolen during the robbery. He sustained wounds to his head and shoulders. It is alleged that three men were involved in the incident.

“From what we know, the first guy came and tried to gain entry through the back door of the house, but he couldn’t. He then went to the front and bent the gate and broke the door and he had an altercatio­n with my grandfathe­r. He ran off,” Saminathan added.

It is alleged that two men later returned, after which, screams were heard.

Chetty’s daughter, Anneleen Pillay, said they had to call a private ambulance service as the provincial ambulance did not respond to their call.

Chetty’s granddaugh­ter Desiree Chetty said they had seen him the evening before and they always spent time together on weekends.

She said the incident happened at around 3 am or 4 am and she later saw on Whatsapp he had read her status at 2 am.

“This probably means he was awake when he heard them and probably went to see what was happening.

“When we ran across to his house, we thought we would still find him sitting in the lounge; we didn’t expect to find him lying on the floor. It was gruesome. It was something like a movie scene. Other residents said they heard him screaming and saying ‘what are you doing?’ They could have just taken what they wanted and left. But why kill him?

“Why rob people of their loved ones? We are approachin­g Christmas and he was looking forward to Christmas. He was supposed to spend the day with his sister at Piggly Wiggly on Saturday. We just told them that he will be coming with them,” she said.

Chetty’s brother-in-law Chundra Vadivaloo described Chetty as a “harmless and pleasant person”.

“Everyone loved him. He was a wonderful person who was kind to everyone. He was loving and helpful. It makes no sense that he was killed like this,” said Vadivaloo.

Mountain Rise SAPS spokespers­on Warrant Officer Panchael Singh said a case of murder and a case of housebreak­ing is being investigat­ed. No suspects have been arrested yet.


Community members said Chetty’s murder was a result of the increase in crime and abandoned properties in the area. They said they have been trying to reach out to their ward councillor for assistance, but nothing has been done.

A resident from the area, who asked to remain unnamed for fear of victimisat­ion, said they are concerned for their safety.

“This was a senseless killing of a man who kept to himself and harmed no one. There have been so many break-ins, but now people are getting killed. We called the councillor as there is an abandoned property with unkempt grass that is creating a haven for criminals.

“There is a bush that is becoming a hideout. We want answers from our councillor. Why is our area not being maintained? This is the result of the increase of criminal activity in the area,” said the resident.

Ward 30 DA Councillor Rachel Soobiah expressed her condolence­s to Chetty’s family.

“I would like to express my sincere condolence­s to the bereaved family. I condemn the brutality of this murder in the strongest terms. The perpetrato­rs must be brought to book. Crime against our elderly and the defenceles­s is not acceptable and justice must be served,” she said.

Responding to the community’s outcry over service delivery, Soobiah said she faced many challenges regarding service delivery in the area.

“As councillor­s, getting basic service delivery to our residents is a challenge. Every day we have to go out there and fight to ensure our residents get the most basic services from our municipali­ty.

“All complaints from residents are forwarded to the municipali­ty to act upon, not just for Ginger Road but the whole of Ward 30. You will find that almost every area experience­s the similar problems and I will go as far as to say every ward and ward councilor has the same challenges.”

 ?? ?? Rajendra Chetty (72), was murdered in his Bombay Heights home on Saturday. Photo: Supplied
Rajendra Chetty (72), was murdered in his Bombay Heights home on Saturday. Photo: Supplied

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