North­cliff murders: four in the dock

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - SHAIN GERMANER shain.germaner@inl.co.za

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.

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