At the moment no foul play is suspected as the victim is alleged to have been sick.
THE POLICE have opened an inquest docket into the death of well-known Kimberley resident Charles Smith, 71, after his body was discovered at his home yesterday morning.
TSS security was called to Smith’s house in Rhodesdene when his domestic employee and gardener arrived at the house and there was no answer to open the gate for them.
They jumped over the fence and found their employer lying unresponsive in his bed.
Smith had also not arrived at the bus stop to fetch his domestic worker yesterday morning, as he usually did.
At this stage, the exact time of death has not been established, although Smith was seen over the weekend.
It is believed that he died as a result of natural causes.
Police spokesperson, Lieutenant-Colonel Dimakatso Mooi, said that no foul play was suspected at this stage.
“It is alleged that when the domestic worker arrived for work she found the man dead in his bedroom. At the moment no foul play is suspected as the victim is alleged to have been sick. Police investigations continue,” said Mooi.
Friends, acquaintances and former colleagues of Smith, who worked with him at the Diamond Trading Company (DTC), Harry Oppenheimer House, were yesterday shocked to hear of the news.
Friends remembered him as being an avid car enthusiast and for his career in the diamond industry after he completed his schooling at Kimberley Boys’ High.
A friend of Smith, Myrtle Wilson, said that he would be sorely missed.
“He was the chairperson of the Kimberley Horticultural Society for several years and was actively involved in a number of organisations including the Historical Society and Keep Kimberley Clean. He started as a sorter at HOD and worked his way up to a senior quality controller, up until he decided to take early retirement.
“Smith always had his finger on the pulse of what was going on in Kimberley and was set on ensuring that things ran properly. He did a lot of good for people.”
Wilson added that Smith had also travelled to Windhoek, Botswana and worked in the DTC London office.
“We were friends for 30 years and we made it a point to speak to each other every day. It was a long and wonderful friendship.
“I saw him over the weekend when he informed me of his plans to go on a trip to the West Coast on Tuesday (today).”
Wilson stated that Smith’s relatives from the Western Cape would be organising the funeral arrangements.