A 68-year-old grandmother has died, allegedly after a scuffle with her 18-year-old granddaughter.

The grandmother, from Inzinga near Impendle in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands, died on Saturday at a local clinic after she experienced difficulty breathing.

The dead woman’s daughter told the media that her mother got into an argument over a breakfast meal with her granddaughter. She later collapsed and couldn’t breathe.

The woman said the family rushed her mother to the clinic, where she was put on oxygen but later died. She said the granddaughter had been raised by the grandmother after her own mother died. She added that the family was still shocked by the incident.

She also said “She took medication for high blood pressure but she has never had lung problems. We did not expect her to die this way at all”.

The granddaughter was currently living with neighbours while the family made preparations for a funeral.

KwaZulu-Natal social development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza in a statement described the incident as “brutal and callous”.

Khoza said it was unbelievable that the pensioner died at the hands of someone who was supposed to protect her.

She called on communities throughout the province to stand up against crimes directed at senior citizens.

She added that “We have been travelling the length and breadth of the province educating the people about the rights of older persons, but we continue to witness these distasteful and barbaric acts against them”.

Khoza has dispatched a team of social workers to provide psychosocial support to the family and ensure that the matter is being reported to the police.