Tragedy strikes at upmarket complex

Date: 01 Mar 2007
Tributes pour in for Ann Fraser after garden attack Ann Fraser (68), described by friends as "the St Francis of all things good", died in her garden after being stabbed in the throat by an intruder. Fraser was killed on Friday night in The Inandas, one of Sandton's most upmarket secure complexes. The events, pieced together from information from Fraser's family, are that she had been home alone when residents of The Inandas called police after spotting an intruder walking on the roof of one of the units. "We understand that the cops came out and spent some time searching the place, but then left," said her son Wayne. It is believed that Fraser had been busy with a jigsaw puzzle when she heard a noise in her garden and, cigarette in hand, stepped outside to investigate. "We think the intruder, who must have been hiding in her garden, stabbed her in the throat and shoulder with a plastic spike, taken off the irrigation system," explained Margaret Thompson, mother of Fraser's daughter-in-law Lesley. "She died almost instantly, her head in a flower bed just outside her bedroom area." It is believed that the killer then entered the house and tripped the electricity by cutting the wires to the DVD player. "He took his time and ransacked the house, apparently battling in the dark because he left burnt matches everywhere and bloody marks on the cupboards. "We don't even know what he took. It was a life basically for nothing," Thompson said. "We think he threw her handbag over the wall into the neighbour's garden and then got away by walking out of the front door." On Saturday afternoon, a gardener in the neighbouring property found the handbag, He then scaled the dividing wall and discovered Fraser's body. "The neighbours called the police and then Craig (Fraser's oldest son), who called Wayne," said Thompson. The murder has shattered the Fraser family. "I was going through her phone book to inform all her friends and I came across the details for David Rattray. He was her friend," said Lesley Fraser, Wayne's wife. Superintendent Lungelo Dlamini, police spokesperson for Johannesburg, said no arrests had been made in connection with the murder and no suspect had been identified. Fraser was widowed 20 years ago when her husband Henry - of the family that established the renowned Frasers International - died of a heart attack. She lived alone with her Maltese poodle Max, her companion of 20 years until he died last December. "Ann was very well known and well loved. Birds were her passion, as was travelling. Her friends were her life, and they are coming from all over the world for her funeral," said Lesley Fraser. As the Frasers rallied together, tributes, messages, faxes, phone calls and floral wreaths flow in steadily. "Now a terrible quietness hangs over our homes," read a message from one of her neighbours. Fraser leaves behind her sons Craig, Wayne and Trent and four grandchildren. Her funeral takes place at 2pm tomorrow at Fourways Memorial Gardens. By Gill Gifford The Star 01/03/07