Home South African 73-year-old woman ‘drugged’, robbed in old age home

73-year-old woman ‘drugged’, robbed in old age home

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An elderly woman, who was allegedly forced to drink ‘water mixed with leaves’ by two women who claimed to be campaigning for a political party, woke up in hospital to find that she had been robbed of her savings and heirloom jewellery.

A relative, who declined to be named, said the woman, who lives in a home for the aged, was approached by two women who claimed to be campaigning for a political party. File picture

AN ELDERLY KwaDukuza woman, who was allegedly forced to drink ‘water mixed with leaves’ by two women who claimed to be campaigning for a political party, woke up in hospital to find that she had been robbed of her savings and heirloom jewellery.

A relative, who declined to be named, said the woman, who lives in a home for the aged, was approached by two women who claimed to be campaigning for a political party on March 12 at about 10:30am.

He said the relative lived in one of the cottages on the property, which was well-secured with fencing and security.

“I am not sure how they had even got into the premises. However, my relative and a neighbour, who was with her at the time, were approached by the two women, who suddenly appeared at her door. They introduced themselves and said that they were campaigning for the upcoming elections and wanted to speak to them.

“My relative did not think anything was amiss at the time and invited them in. After sitting down, they told the other resident that she should go to her house. They said someone was handing out hampers and she should not miss out. She left,” said the relative.

He said one of the women requested to use the toilet.

“My relative pointed her to the toilet and then the other woman asked if she could charge her phone. When the first woman returned from the toilet, she told my relative that she looked sick.”

She responded that it was quite a hot day and she had been cleaning, so she may have appeared to be looking unwell. Then one of the women said to her, “come I bless you, you will feel better”.

“She told my relative to get a bowl with warm water, which she did. The woman then went outside and took two leaves from a tree and came back and started to mix the water. She asked for a glass and poured the water into it and gave it to my relative to drink. When my relative drank it, she said it was bitter and started to suspect something. But, she said out of fear, she drank it and could not remember what happened after that.”

He said he learnt later that afternoon that his relative was unconscious.

“Another relative, who also stays at the home, contacted me after finding her unconscious on the couch. He usually visits her, and when he went to see her, he found the gate unlocked. He called out to her and there was no response, so he went inside. He tried to wake her but she did not respond.

“When I arrived she was not responding, so I called the paramedics and she was taken to hospital. She regained consciousness, but was not speaking clearly. The next day, I visited her and asked her where her phone was and she said at home on the TV cabinet, with her earrings and watch. ”

“I went to check at her home, her phone and earrings, which were gold, were missing. Her watch, which was imitation gold was still there. I decided to check the rest of her house. When I opened her wardrobe, it looked as if someone had been digging through the items. There were plastic packets which were torn open.

“On Thursday she was discharged, but only went home on Friday. It was then she realised that R15,000, which she had been saving as she wanted to buy a new bed and fridge, was missing. Her gold jewellery, some of which she inherited from her late mother, valued at about R60,000, was also missing. They had even taken soaps, toothpaste and deodorants which she bought in bulk. However, what was more alarming, was that a big knife, which was kept in the oven section of the stove, was found next to her bed.”

The relative said the incident had taken an emotional toll on the woman.

“She is traumatised and not able to sleep, as she not only lost her savings and valuables, but does not remember what happened to her or what she was made to consume. While there were blood tests done, they didn’t show if there were any drugs or substances in her system.

“However, it is a great concern that our elderly are being targeted by criminals and we hope that those perpetrators are caught.”

The police had not responded to media enquiries by the time of publication.

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