FS men accused of killing maize thieves appear in court

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The case against the five men accused of killing one person and assaulting three others for allegedly attempting to steal maize on a farm at Kroonstad will continue today at the town’s Local Magistrate’s Court.

OFM News reported earlier this month that the men appeared at the court and their case was postponed for further investigation. Four of the five men were released on R1000 bail each at their last court appearance, while the fifth accused, who is said to be a Lesotho national, was denied bail as he may flee the country.

The men face charges of murder and assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm after they allegedly on 22 May this year beat three victims with sticks and sjamboks after they allegedly found them stealing maize. The body of another man, said to have been the fourth victim, was found on the grass alongside the road between Kroonstad and Viljoenskroon after the suspects also allegedly beat and choked him to death.

Police spokesperson in the Free State, Stephen Thakeng, had also earlier told OFM News that the suspects’ names are Cornelius Gideon Keller (26), Toko Jonas Molise (21), Paballo Maselesele (23), Abraham Hlalele (24), and Tiisetso Maseli (25). It is reported that Keller worked as a foreman on the farm mentioned, while the other four suspects were security officers.

OFM News