NELSPRUIT – Seven suspects, aged between 25 and 60, are due to appear before the Piet Retief Magistrate’s Court tomorrow, Monday, 31 May 2021. The suspects are facing two counts of murder as well as attempted murder, kidnapping, and defeating the ends of justice after three men were reportedly assaulted near a farm at Dirkiesdorp on 09 August 2020, where two succumbed to their injuries whilst the other survived.
Their court appearance comes after an intensive investigation into a matter where three Thwala brothers driving in a red Toyota Corolla between Dirkiesdorp and Driefontein were accused of stealing sheep. It all erupted when their vehicle got stuck after getting a puncture. The trio then went out of the vehicle to try and sort out the problem. Two other vehicles with the said suspects reportedly emerged and started questioning the three men.
The victims were then allegedly tied up before being assaulted to a point where two died. The third one sustained serious injuries but survived the ordeal. The matter was then reported to the police and an investigation into the matter ensued until a breakthrough was made when the seven men were arrested on Friday, 28 May 2021.
Meanwhile, a similar case of murder was reported on 15 April 2021, which has been postponed to 10 June 2021 and it involves two Coka brothers who had reportedly gone to the farm at Dirkiesdorp in search of employment. The victims, Zenzele and Mgcini Coka were sadly murdered whilst another man was kidnapped and assaulted. Five suspects were fingered and arrested by police at the scene shortly after the incident. Three of those suspects are also linked to the murder incident of the Thwala brothers.
The five suspects on the Coka brothers matter were granted R10 000 bail each at the same court.
The police management in the province, led by Major General Thulani Phahla, Acting Provincial Commissioner of SAPS in Mpumalanga, has since called for calm amidst these developments. “We urge members of the public to allow space for the law to take its course and not to resort to violence. The state has proven its determination to ensure that no stone will be left unturned in dealing with any criminal activities,” concluded General Phahla.