'It was so terrifying': Landlord tells how boarder returned to scene of brutal murder
The owner of a Phoenix house where a young woman and her two-year-old daughter were hacked to death has described how he alerted the police when the alleged perpetrator returned to the crime scene in the middle of the night.
Mondli Mtolo, the owner of a property on Solly Mathe Road in Mount Royal, north of Durban — where he leases rooms to tenants — said images of the scene where the 34-year-old woman and her daughter were killed on Wednesday shortly after 10am were plaguing him.
“I wasn't asleep at about midnight, trying to figure out why this happened. Suddenly I heard a noise - someone opening a door of one of the rooms we are renting out. I just took a sneak peek and the guy was here,” he said.
“It was so terrifying — he had the nerve to come back after what he had done!”
Mtolo said he contemplated making a citizen's arrest but opted rather to contact the detectives dealing with the case.
“I quickly got to my phone, made a call and the police responded very well. I was monitoring the guy constantly up until the police were here. He tried to flee again but police managed to arrest him after a few minutes.”
He said while he found peace in having the alleged perpetrator arrested, the fact that the slain woman's next of kin had not yet been located by the police was worrying.
After the man was arrested, he allegedly told the police: “Bekuphoqa (I had to do it).”
When TimesLIVE visited the scene on Thursday, neighbours — many of whom did not want to go on the record — spoke of the harrowing screams that were heard shortly before the woman and her toddler were found in a pool of blood.
Lisa Khanya, who lives nearby, said she would forever remain tormented by the screams of the toddler.
“All that is on my mind is that baby screaming,” she said.
“When I got here the man was already gone. I saw the crime scene and I don't know what to say. I think this man is psycho. I don't know how he did that because it was brutal. It's not actually murder — he literally slaughtered these people.”
Among the first respondents were KZN VIP, who said their medics found the woman with multiple deep lacerations to both hands and her head.
KZN VIP's Glen Naidoo said the child had multiple large, deep lacerations to her head and died while receiving medical attention.
Mtolo said the woman and her daughter often visited his boarder, sometimes staying for up two weeks. He said he believed they were in a romantic relationship and couldn't understand why the two suffered such a gruesome death.
He described his 62-year-old boarder as a “quiet and neat” person who approached him seeking accommodation in December.
“He was a nice guy on the outside - very clean, very polite. You wouldn't suspect a thing from him.”
The man is expected to appear in the Verulam magistrate's court soon on charges of murder.