Killing of East London man described as a hit
Businessman dies after being shot in his bed, friend of 40 years says attack was well organised
The killing of elderly former East Londoner Peter de Coning, who was shot in his bed in his Kleinemonde seaside home outside Port Alfred on Monday, was a hit, his best friend believes.
De Coning, 79, died when a lone gunman stuck his body through the bedroom window at 11.30pm and opened fire in full view of his wife Margaret, police said on Tuesday.
His best friend Brian Barter, 75, who described the killing as senseless and deplorable, is convinced the attack was a well-organised hit.
The retired De Coning was the owner of Debonairs Pizza in Vincent Park mall, run by his son David.
Speaking to the Dispatch on Monday, Barter said: “The killer did not take anything. He threatened to shoot him and two seconds later shot and killed him. It is definitely a hit.
“It is an absolute tragedy, we can't understand the logic, it’s deplorable. He was a great guy, a genuine friend. We've been friends for close to 40 years.”
De Coning started the popular Orange Grove Butchery in Greenfields in the 1970s.
Barter said De Coning was born and bred in Mthatha.
“We fished and bird-hunted together and travelled the world doing charity work with the Lions Club International service organisation, where he was my mentor.
“Peter gave the people of Kleinemonde meat and money, this is why I am saying it is a hit. He was loved by everyone.”
Captain Mali Govender said a lurking shape was spotted by De Coning's wife through the window moments before the attack.
“She alerted her sleeping husband. As he tried to switch on the light the [assailant], who was standing at the bedroom window, stuck his body through the window and shot the victim. He then fled the scene.”
The killer remains at large, she confirmed.
Port Alfred police cluster commander Brigadier Morgan Govender said: “We are deeply shocked by this incident and extend our condolences to the family and friends of the victim.”
He appealed to the community to assist the police with their investigation.
Anyone with information can contact Warrant Officer Yeza Tyala at Seafield SA Police Services on 082-442-3814, during office hours on 046 -675-1113 or phone the Crime Stop number on 08600-10111...