Four in court for killing KZN couple with hammer for stokvel cash
Four people have been arrested in KwaZulu-Natal for allegedly killing a couple for their stokvel money.
The couple, according to the police, went missing last Wednesday.
"Police officers from the Ilembe task team, Nsuze Saps and the Umhlali K9 unit, together with a tracking company, were following up reports of a couple who went missing with their vehicle on the night of December 18 in Bhamshela," said police spokesperson Brig Jay Naicker.
He said the police spotted the vehicle a few kilometres from the couple’s residence. "Police gave chase as the occupants sped off, lost control of the vehicle and crashed. The suspects fled into the bushes."
The couple were found dead at the nearby Wolongo Reserve.
"They were allegedly shot and battered with a hammer. A four-pound hammer was found next to the deceased. A docket for two counts of murder was opened at the Nsuze police station for investigation."
According to Naicker, the wife had earlier received a call from a woman asking to collect stokvel money that she claimed was owed to her. She then left with her husband. Shortly afterwards, the family received a call from an unknown person, who demanded a ransom for the couple's release.
Four suspects were arrested, aged between 25 and 46. They were found in possession of a firearm, cash and cellphones belonging to the couple.
They appeared in the Maphumulo magistrate's court on Monday on two counts of murder, illegal possession of a firearm and possession of suspected stolen property.
KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner Lt-Gen Khombinkosi Jula praised the police for the arrest. “I wish to commend the investigation team who worked around the clock to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to book," he said.
"We hope that the family will find comfort knowing that these cold-blooded killers will pay the price for their cruelty."