Murder accused rearrested for death of two elderly women

MBOMBELA – Shaun Oosthuizen (38) and John du Plooy (26) had been free since they were granted bail of R2 000 each in the Nelspruit District Court on August 3.

On Wednesday local police investigating officer, Lt Col Erhard Stroh and Sgt Fred Meyer arrested them in Munsieville, a squatter camp near Krugersdorp.

It was the second time Stroh had tracked the suspects down. After Potgieter’s murder on July 1, he tracked down Oosthuizen, Du Plooy and a third accused, Marynna Mandy Vorster (48) to Lover’s Rock near Magaliesburg.

Vorster was initially also arrested for the most recent murders, but was released by police the same day as they could not link her to the scenes.

During their Nelspruit bail hearing, Stroh warned the court six times that the accused would commit more crimes if they were granted bail, but the magistrate, Leonard Ngcangca, ruled for the defence.

The rearrests of Oosthuizen and Du Plooy were in connection with two murders and robberies committed in Alberton on Saturday, and Roodepoort on Monday August 20, Stroh told Lowvelder.

Both victims were elderly women.

“I was called by the Gauteng police to assist in finding the men, due to the fact that the modus operandi was extremely similar to that in the murder of Potgieter,” said Stroh.

Potgieter was killed on July 1 in her flat at Macadamia Care Centre. Her body was discovered the following morning on her bathroom floor. It is alleged the accused gained access to the premises by asking for a glass of water.

Potgieter was suffocated and her hands were tied behind her back with cellphone charger cables. The cause of death was determined to be suffocation.

Stroh explained that the body of an 82-year-old woman was discovered on Sunday morning in Alberton Village on Trelawney Street.

“The two suspects entered the premises on the pretence that they were looking for someone.

“They allegedly asked the woman for a glass of water and gained entry to her home. She was taken to the bedroom, her legs and hands were tied with cellphone charger cables. A cloth was stuffed down her throat and she was robbed of her cellphone and jewellery.

“In the other murder, which took place in Roodepoort on August 20, 77-year-old Lillas Jane Merry’s body was discovered in the corridor of her flat. Her hands and feet were tied up and a cloth was stuffed down her throat. They robbed her of her jewellery,” Stroh said.

Her daugther Viviene Pearson said the family were relieved the two had been arrested. “We trust in the judical system that this time they will not be released, for the safety of the public.”

Oosthuizen and Du Plooy are expected to appear in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on Monday. The three are expected back in the Nelspruit District Court on October 26.

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