An overwhelming stench of animal faeces, together with the rotting smell of decomposing flesh, permeated the house, while all the windows were closed
THE REMAINS of an elderly woman, believed to be in her seventies, were discovered in her house in Amakhuzane Street in Vergenoeg after neighbours spotted dogs eating a skull outside the house yesterday.
Elizabeth Nobantu Dube, according to her stepson-in-law and neighbours, was a loner who lived with her four dogs.
Neighbours yesterday reported that they noticed the dogs chewing on something at Dube’s kitchen door at around midday.
“The dogs were eating something and when we went closer it appeared to be a human skull,” one of the shocked neighbours said.
“We called the police because the dogs are extremely vicious and we did not want to get too close. Nobantu was the only person who could control her dogs and no one ever went close to her house. We used to see her around but she never spoke to anyone and kept to herself.”
When the police arrived they discovered the grisly remains, believed to be that of Dube.
The two-bedroom house was in a filthy state, with heaps of dog faeces littering the floor while the furniture was in disarray and a blanket, where it is believed Dube slept, was heaped on the floor in one corner of the lounge.
Access into the lounge was blocked with various items and the old wooden lounge suite was stacked together, with the cushion covers removed.
An overwhelming stench of animal faeces, together with the rotting smell of decomposing flesh, permeated the house, while all the windows were closed.
The kitchen was also in a shocking state. Rotting vegetables inside plastic bags hung from cupboards and a pot of leftover food, including dried out bones, was found on the stove.
The curtains were black with dirt and seemingly had not been washed for several years. The kitchen was also littered with various items and there was only a narrow pathway that had been cleared through the rubbish, leading from the kitchen to the lounge.
Dube’s stepson-in-law, Pieter Leonard, said yesterday he could not believe the state of the house.
“I last saw Nobuntu a month ago and she appeared to be fine. She was very difficult and was a recluse who did not want to see anyone. We used to live with her about two years ago, but then we found a place of our own, because she could be so stubborn, especially when she had something to drink. She did not want people around her and instead adopted the four dogs, who lived with her in the house.”
Police spokesperson, Sergeant Majang Skalkie, said the police were investigating an inquest. She could not confirm that the remains were that of Dube.
“We cannot confirm that the remains found were that of the lady staying in the house until her family members have identified her. We can say at this stage that a human skull was found.
“There were also other remains found scattered in the lounge, but we are waiting for forensics to confirm whether these were human remains or not. At this stage it is suspected that they are human, but this needs to be confirmed.”
It is believed that the skull and one rib bone were found at the kitchen door, while a femur and a bra, as well as a shoe, were found in the backyard.
According to Skalkie, the four dogs staying with the woman were taken away by the SPCA yesterday afternoon.
“The investigation continues.”