- The domestic worker accused of being involved in the murders of a Polokwane Ocean Basket owner and her mother was gifted a refrigerator by their family.
- This when she was helping them pack the victims’ belongings on the day after their memorial service.
- The woman and her boyfriend appeared in court on Monday.
The domestic worker accused of being involved in the murders of Polokwane Ocean Basket owner Lizette Deacon, 55, and her mother, Hettie, 70, was reportedly gifted a refrigerator shortly after their deaths.
According to Netwerk24, Sophy Mmako, 51, was given the appliance by family members to thank her for her years-long service. Mmako was reportedly helping them pack the Deacons’ belongings on the day after their memorial service.
It was earlier reported that Mmako was crying at the memorial service and had to be consoled by the Deacons’ friends and family.
Mmako and Lazarus Mahlo, 41, who is believed to be her boyfriend, appeared in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court on Monday, News24 reported earlier.
They face charges of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and kidnapping after the Deacons were stabbed to death. They will remain in custody until their next court appearance on 25 September, according to National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi.
READ | Murder of Ocean Basket owner and her mother: Domestic worker, boyfriend in court
Their co-accused, Abibi Hamid and Casper Mudau, who are already in custody, will join them. They appeared in court on 15 September and were charged with murder and house robbery.
Mahlo was arrested in Ivory Park, Tembisa, and Mmako was arrested in Polokwane – both on Friday morning.
‘I cannot believe it’
Netwerk24 reports that Mmako had worked for Hettie for the past 24 years, while Mahlo had until recently worked at one of Lizette Deacon’s Ocean Basket branches.
Dia van Staden, a longtime friend of Lizette and Hettie, was in tears outside the court on Monday. She has known Mmako for several years. “I cannot believe it. When she saw me in court, she even waved at me,” Van Staden reportedly said.
Police were still looking for a man called “Owen” who goes by the surnames Setsiba, Makutara or Mbedzi to assist with their investigation. He was thought to be Zimbabwean.
ALSO READ | Domestic worker arrested for Polokwane murders cried at victims’ funeral
Police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo earlier said the Deacons were stabbed and tied up and found dead in their SUV.
The crime scene at home sparked a search and a helicopter helped track down the vehicle. Officers found their bodies inside the idling SUV on the side of the road.
Anyone with information about Owen’s whereabouts was asked to call their nearest police station or the Crime Stop number 08600 10111.
– Compiled by Riaan Grobler
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