Johannesburg, Aug 7: The brutal murders of a 60-year-old woman of Indian origin and her son in South Africa have shocked the residents of Azaadville, a mainly-Indian suburb near here.
Rashida Laher ran a clothing business while her son Hussein Laher, 35, would have graduated on Wednesday evening at the University of South Africa after finishing a Bachelor of Commerce degree following many years of study. Their murders have left residents of Azaadville, near the city of Krugersdorp 35 km west of here, reeling with shock.
The Laher family, which was preparing to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr this week, is now in mourning. Suspected robbers, who believed the Lahers' residence may have been empty while people attended Ramzan prayers at the local mosque, found both mother and son, who was ill, at home. A relative returned home from the mosque to find them strangled. Their feet were tied up as well.
Police have launched a national manhunt for five robbers and a domestic worker missing after the incident. CCTV footage showed all six getting into a car and leaving the house after the murders.
"We are not sure if the worker, a Malawian national, was part of the gang or whether she was kidnapped by the gang, as her belongings, including her passport and mobile phone, were found in her room," said police spokesman Solomon Sibiya.