Cops say aged were drugged then killed

Michael Sakuneka

Michael Sakuneka

Six members of a gang that allegedly drugged pensioners before robbing or killing them - were denied bail in the Mankweng magistrate's court yesterday.

The suspects were arrested in Mankweng last week on charges of murder, kidnapping and fraud.

They are alleged to be members of a gang that terrorised hitch-hikers since 2002, especially the aged, by giving them laced drinks before robbing them of cash and other valuables.

The six suspects, Petrus Masasane, 50, David Ramalepe, 65, Joseph Ramashilo, 50, Cleophas Mabuya, 47, Thomas Mutwa, 37, and Patrick Mabuya, 37, were arrested following lengthy police investigations.

Inspector Malan Nchabeleng said the suspects were believed to have operated in Limpopo, Gauteng and North West.

Nchabeleng said although it was not known how many people the suspects had robbed or killed, two cases of robbery and two of murder were reported in Mankweng.

"Some of the pensioners who were allegedly attacked by the suspects are paralysed - while others are now confined to wheelchairs."

Raesetsa Mushwana, of GaMakanye in Mankweng, said her husband George went missing after he was offered a lift by an unknown motorist from a shopping centre at Mankweng.

The suspects will appear in court again next Tuesday for a bail application.

Stephina Molewa, of Ageing Action in Mankweng, said a number of pensioners had been kidnapped, raped and killed.