Four teens, including two minors, appeared at the Balfour Magistrate’s Court on Thursday for the murder of a Grootvlei farmer and the assault of his wife on Sunday morning.
The 18-year-old Siyanda Gift Ziqubu and Kgahliso Motoung and their two juvenile co-accused – who are 16 and 17 – are facing charges of murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, pointing of a firearm, possession of a firearm, and possession of ammunition.
The four were arrested after the getaway vehicle they stole had an accident in Villiers, Free State, later that day.
Witnesses say Marlinda Bekker recognised two of the attackers and was able to communicate their identities before falling unconscious.
Her 79-year-old husband Theo was severely beaten with an iron bar before having his throat slit.
According to Mpumalanga National Prosecuting Authorities spokesperson Monica Nyuswa, the accused went to the farm and attacked Theo, demanding his firearm and money.
“They suffocated the deceased’s wife with a plastic bag and assaulted her several times. They then robbed the victims of an undisclosed amount of money, a firearm, and a vehicle which they drove away with.
“The accused’s arrest comes after the vehicle they were travelling in was involved in an accident… The police were alerted and went to attend the crime scene. While searching the vehicle, it transpired that the firearm found in the vehicle and the vehicle belonged to the victims.”
Nyuswa said possible ties to the victims would be revealed in the bail application, which has been postponed until 7 August for legal representation.
She added that the State would oppose bail because of the seriousness of the crime.