Northcliff murders: four in the dock
WHILE police arrested six men for the horrific murder of Rakiel, Melanie and Gregory Naidoo, only four of their suspected killers made their first appearance yesterday in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court.
The family disappeared from their Northcliff house last Sunday night, with relatives arriving at the home the following morning to find a significant amount on blood in the house, which had been ransacked.
On the same day, three charred bodies were discovered in the veld in Centurion, but it took three days for police to announce that the two cases were linked.
However, while the six arrests were made last week, including a former employee of the Naidoo family, those in the gallery yesterday were surprised to see only four accused in the dock.
The Star has learnt that it’s likely the two not present are set to assist police in their investigations against the other four, explaining their absence.
Lesley Mokgadi, Robert Maluleke, Japan Malatjie and Lechani Mlambo initially told the court they would like to represent themselves in their bail application, but all four changed their tune after the presiding magistrate explained the seriousness of the crimes.
Charged with murder, kidnapping and robbery with aggravating circumstances, the men could potentially face life imprisonment if found guilty.
All four then decided they would appoint an attorney to represent them during the bail proceedings, with Mokgadi telling the court they would need only one legal representative.
All four men claimed to have no previous convictions or pending matters. The case was then postponed to Monday.
Police released the victims’ bodies on Friday night, with the family burying their loves ones the following day.