Son agonizes mother’s brutal last moments

Rudi Greyling at the spot where he found his slain mother

Maria Greyling’s manicured garden was her pride and joy where she spent countless hours tending her plants, especially after she retired a few years ago. That is one of the reasons why her son Rudi cannot come to terms with discovering his mother’s bloody and battered body lying on the lawn of her garden last week when he came to visit.

Rudi Greyling who is a Correctional Service’s warden, living in Boston told Maritzburg Sun that his parents moved into their Bellevue home in 1995, and his slain mother, 64-year-old Maria Jacoba Greyling, had been living alone since 2005 following his father’s death.  He travelled to Pietermaritzburg routinely every Wednesday or Thursday but nothing could prepare him for what he discovered last Thursday.

“The garden was her favourite place and that was the last place I’d ever imagine seeing her the way I saw her last Thursday. She loved her garden and was always working in it,” explains Rudi.

Also read: Elderly woman killed with garden spade

Maria Jacoba Greyling who was found murdered with a garden spade at her Bellevue home last week Thursday

Upon reaching Pietermaritzburg on Thursday, he tried several times to call his mother but was directed to voicemail. When he got the Bellevue home, all the windows and doors in the house were closed, raising his suspicion that something was wrong.

“There was something not adding up. I went around the house to see if the back entrance was open and she was just there on the ground bleeding, she had been there the entire night and half of the day before I arrived”,” recalls Rudi struggling to hold back his tears.

“You can never imagine the emotions of finding someone so full of life, who loved her family and loved nature to be brutally attacked and left for dead. She was a pillar filled with warmth. She was always there for me and my family, and it would be a grave injustice if the people who did this are not held responsible,” said the son.

Greyling’s murder has also rocked the quiet suburb of Bellevue with residents fearing that the murderers are still roaming free

“It is shocking, brutal crime has entered even this area and we can never be too careful now”, said one of Greyling’s neighbours.

From what initial police investigations have established, Greyling, who had retired as the financial officer for Cedera Agricultural College, was apparently attacked last Wednesday by two casual labourers she had hired to help her in the garden. Although the outcome of the post mortem examination is pending, bloodied spades found at the scene suggest she was struck on the head and face with the implements.

His mum’s decision to hire the two casual labourers haunts Rudi because when she told him of her plans, he was against it.

“I was hesitant because she has never had people to regularly help out, and I knew it would it alert strangers that she was living alone” he said.

After attacking Greyling with the spades the suspects ransacked the home taking with them jewellery, two cell phones and a digital tablet valued at R10 000. Alexandra Police Station spokeswoman Captain Kholeka Mhlongo confirmed that the case of murder is under investigation and no arrests have been made.

Community Policing Forum Chairperson Milton Ngcolosi urged residents, specifically the elderly to exercise caution with strangers.

“Never allow people that you’re not familiar with into your home without alerting anyone close to you…As the community policing forum we advise visibility at all times, such as making policing forums aware of your living situation or joining the forum so that routine patrols by community members can be done,” added Ngcolosi said.


Bongeka Sibisi

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