Trial for duo accused of murdering pensioners

Both victims were allegedly beaten with a blunt object before the accused made off with R50, a cellphone and a green Toyota Tazz belonging to Jantjies.
Both victims were allegedly beaten with a blunt object before the accused made off with R50, a cellphone and a green Toyota Tazz belonging to Jantjies.
Image: STOCK IMAGE

The trial of two men accused of murdering three elderly people over a matter of days - in September 2017 - is expected to begin in the Port Elizabeth high court today.

This after the defence counsels for Vuyani Sifunda, 21, and Mbuyiseli Pikoli, 27, both informed the court yesterday that they required the assistance of interpreters to help consult with their clients.

Sifunda and Pikoli, who face eight charges, including three counts of murder, two counts of housebreaking with the intent to rob, one of robbery with aggravating circumstances and one of attempted murder, have not yet pleaded.

It is alleged that on September 23 2017, Sifunda and Pikoli broke into a caravan parked on the premises of the Forest Hill Cemetery's caretakers' quarters and attacked Tyrone Winston Jantjies, 62, and Thembalethu Ndiyane, 23.

Both victims were allegedly beaten with a blunt object before Sifunda and Pikoli allegedly made off with R50, a cellphone and a green Toyota Tazz belonging to Jantjies.

During the attack, Ndiyane had pretended to be dead or unconscious, while Sifunda and Pikoli allegedly continued assaulting Jantjies.

Jantjies died from his injuries on the way to the hospital, while Ndiyane survived, but spent significant time recovering in an intensive care unit in hospital.

Two days later, Sifunda and Pikoli allegedly broke into the Schoenmakerskop home of Kenneth John Alexander, 76, and his partner, Elaine Allwright, 78.

During the late-night attack, Alexander and Allwright were bludgeoned with blunt objects and left for dead.

At the time it was reported that Alexander had been attacked outside the house when he went to investigate a suspicious noise.

His body was found in the early hours of the following morning on his kitchen floor.

According to the indictment before the court, a cellphone stolen from the Schoenmakerskop house was allegedly traced back to Sifunda and Pikoli.

The pair were arrested in October 2017 after fingerprints lifted from both scenes had allegedly linked them to the respective crime scenes.

Yesterday, state prosecutor Liesel Landman told the court the state was ready to continue with the trial.

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