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Farm murder victims named

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SENSELESS ATTACK . . . Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela has expressed shock at the killings

Police have released the names of the seven people who were brutally murdered at Lismor Farm near Kestell in the eastern Free State.

The victims were found dead by the owner of the farm on Friday morning.

In a statement, provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele said the six women and a young male are: Nokufa Portia Monareng, 30, who worked at the farm; Lerato Julia Moloi, 33, also a worker; Mothoduwa Paulina Moloi, 36, a worker; Nomasonto Christina Zulu, 56, a worker; Nomasontsha Topsy Maduna, 43, a worker; Binto Smith, 55, wife to the farmer; and Rudi Smith, 17, son of Binto Smith.

Two people aged 22 and 34 years old were arrested on Saturday in connection with the killings.

They are expected to appear in the Kestell Magistrates Court on Monday facing seven counts of murder, armed robbery and unlawful possession of firearms.

The two were arrested on a road just outside Bohlokong township.

Two firearms – a shot gun and a pellet gun – believed to have been stolen from the farm house were recovered with the possibility that one of the firearms could be the murder weapon.

The victims were found shot and killed in their house.

The motive behind the killings is not yet known.

Free State Premier Sefora Ntombela has expressed shock at the killings and described the attack as senseless.

“I am angered by the senseless killing of the seven people in Kestell,” said Ntombela in a statement released by her office.

“While we do not have all the facts at the moment, we condemn this savage and inhumane act with the contempt it deserves,” she added.

The premier said she was concerned that these killings seemed to be gaining traction after 16 people were shot and killed at a tavern in Orlando in Soweto last weekend.

The incident was followed by the murder of four people in Pietermaritzburg on the same day.

On Thursday night, six people were shot and killed in Alexandra in Johannesburg by suspected gang members who went about the streets shooting and robbing people.

Ntombela further said she had spoken to the MEC for Social Development, Mamiki Qabathe, to send social workers to the bereaved families to provide counselling.

“This is certainly a very dark period in our province and on behalf of the Free State Provincial Government, I would like to extend our profound condolences to the families of the deceased,” Ntombela said.

Agriculture and Rural Development MEC Thembeni Nxangisa said he was saddened by the gruesome killings.

“I am disgusted and sickened by the callous murder of these farm workers,” said Nxangisa.

The MEC also emphasised that the safety of farming communities is of importance, as farmers play a very crucial role in the economy, especially in the production of food.

Nxangisa is expected to visit the farm on Tuesday. – Staff Reporter

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Two Free State women allegedly killed by ‘druggie’ sons

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SHOCKING MURDER . . . A 65-year-old woman was allegedly stabbed with a sharp object by her 28-year-old son after she failed to give him money to buy drugs

Two women from Mangaung have allegedly been attacked and killed in two separate incidents by their own sons believed to be using drugs.

In the latest incident which happened in Kagisanong along Masike Street at the weekend, a 65-year-old woman was allegedly stabbed with a sharp object by her 28-year-old son after she failed to give him money to buy drugs.

Police spokesperson for Mangaung Metro Lieutenant Colonel Thabo Covane said in the woman died on the scene from the stab wounds.

“The victim had visible multiple stab wounds on the head and body,” he said, adding the matter was reported by the brother to the deceased, who was also attacked by the suspect who is now in police custody.

Covane said the complainant informed the police that the suspect is believed to be using drugs and had asked his now deceased mother for money to buy drugs but she told him that she didn’t have money.

“The suspect got angry, went out of the house, came back with a piece of iron and stabbed the deceased with it several times,” he explained.

“When he was done, he turned to the complainant and also stabbed him on the chest.”

Covane said the uncle survived the attack but the daring suspect locked them inside the house and had to wait until Friday morning to get help.

The suspect was later traced and arrested by the police.
He is expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court this Monday facing charges of murder and attempted murder.

In a similar case, a 42-year-old man will be applying for bail at the Botshabelo Magistrates Court on the same day after allegedly strangling to death his 71-year-old mother last Sunday, August 7, 2022 in the E-Section, Botshabelo.

The suspect is also said to history of substance abuse.

Free State acting provincial police commissioner, Major General Modise, condemned the killing of the two elderly women. – Staff Reporter

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Magashule loses ConCourt bid to reverse ANC suspension

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APPLICATION DISMISSED . . . The Constitutional Court says Ace Magashule has no prospects of successfully appealing his suspension as ANC secretary-general

Former Free State premier Ace Magashule has lost his latest court bid to have his suspension as ANC secretary-general lifted.

He had approached the Constitutional Court seeking to have his temporary ousting from Luthuli House reversed.

In a judgment handed down on Wednesday, the apex court said Magashule had no prospects of successfully appealing his suspension.

“The Constitutional Court has considered the application for condonation and the application for leave to appeal. It has concluded that, although there are no reasonable prospects of success on the merits of the application for leave to appeal, the delay in bringing the application for leave to appeal is minimal,” the court said.

Magashule first approached the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg to challenge his suspension, but the matter was dismissed with costs.

He subsequently approached the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), which dismissed the application in January 2022, prompting him to take up his case with the Constitutional Court.

Magashule was suspended from the ANC in May 2021 because of the party’s step-aside rule.

The rule requires ANC members facing criminal charges to step aside while their court cases are under way.

Magashule is facing corruption charges linked to the Free State asbestos corruption scandal. – Staff Reporter

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Municipal manager facing tender fraud charges granted bail

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THE ACCUSED . . . Maluti-a-Phofung municipal manager Futhuli Patrick Mothamaha is out on bail

Maluti-a-Phofung municipal manager Futhuli Patrick Mothamaha, 49, was on Friday released on a bail of R500 000 by the Phuthaditjhaba Magistrates Court after he was arrested by The Hawks for fraud, corruption and Contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act.

The state alleges that he allegedly awarded a contract of R58 million to Kill Crime Security Company in 2020 without following proper procurement processes.

National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson Phaladi Shuping said Mothamaha allegedly signed a service level agreement on May 19, 2020, appointing the company to render security services to the municipality for a period of three months without following procurement processes.

“The municipality continued to pay Kill Crime Security Company for almost two years without a contract,” said Shuping.

He said Mothamaha was supposed to appear with his co-accused, father and daughter who are the owners of Kill Crime Security, Thabiso, 55, and Dimakatso Sekhosana, 29, on Monday after they were instructed by The Hawks to hand themselves over on Sunday, but he failed to do so.

The Sekhosanas appeared on Monday facing similar charges and were released on bail of R150 000 each.

Part of Mothamaha’s bail conditions are that he must not enter the offices of the municipality, not interfere with the investigations nor intimidate witnesses.

The case was postponed to September 30 for further investigations. – Staff Reporter

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