Murdered for pensions

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

The Polokwane high court has found two men guilty of murdering two women, aged 78 and 87.

The killings occurred two years ago in the tiny village of Greenfarm, near Malamulele in Limpopo.

The court was told that Matsibandlela Manganyi, 78, and her sister Nyanisi Chauke, 87, were asleep in their huts on the same homestead in July 2005 when the two men entered their homes and demanded their pension money.

When they realised that the old women had no money, Livingston Maluleke, 25, and Thomas Mathonsi, 28, set their homes alight. Chauke died in her home and Manganyi died two days later in hospital.

Judge Steven Mathopo found the two men guilty on Tuesday on two counts of murder, and of robbery with aggravating circumstances and arson.

The sentences will be handed down today.

Maluleke had pleaded not guilty to all charges. But his lawyer, Whytie Moruleti, stunned the court when he said his client wanted to apologise to the families of the dead women and to the entire community.

Prosecutor Sam Ngobeni recommended that the two should receive life sentences.

Initial investigations indicated that the two women had been raped, but the two criminals were not found guilty of rape.