Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Journalist from Belfast murdered in South Africa

33-year-old is charged with killing

A north Belfast journalist who was murdered at his home in South Africa has been described by one of his colleagues as "a very nice character".

Peter Cassidy (68), formerly from the Cavehill/Ballysillan Road area of Belfast, was discovered lying on the floor of his bedroom at his home in Polokwane in the Limpopo district in the north of the country.

It is understood that he had suffered a head wound and had a rope around his neck.

Police officers found Mr Cassidy's body after his Fiat pick-up truck was found next to a road outside Polokwane in the early hours of Tuesday.

Mr Cassidy, a former teacher at St Augustine's Secondary School on the Ravenhill Road, had been living and working as a freelance journalist in South Africa for many years. He was not married.

Dewald Hattingh, station manager at Jacaranda RMFM, praised Mr Cassidy's work as a journalist and said he would be sadly missed.

"He was one of the those guys you could send on any story," he said.

" He was very fond of sport reporting, but he could also do political stories and other stories. You could send him to any occasion.

"He was here for quite a few years, I can remember him from the eighties.

" He was a quiet man, he wouldn't disturb anything. He was a very calm person, everyone knew him in town. You would see him sitting in the restaurants in town. He was well-known to everyone in Polokwane.

"He was a very nice character. He wouldn't harm anyone.

"It's a pity to lose a friend like that. We saw him on a regular basis.

" Losing someone like Peter is a pity and it's so uncalled for."

A 33-year-old man appeared at the local magistrates court yesterday charged with the murder.

A death notice in today's Irish News said that Mr Cassidy's death would be "deeply regretted" by his sister Teresa and the family circle.

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