Durban - The family of an Ndwedwe couple who were allegedly killed for their stokvel money had planned lunch for Christmas Day to celebrate with their children and grandchildren.
Instead of doing their last-minute shopping to prepare the feast as their parents planned, the murdered couple’s children told the Daily News that they will be mourning their deaths on Christmas Day.
The bodies of Khonzeni Dube, 56, and Goodenough Dube, 58, were found in the Bhamshela area on Thursday.
Police found the bodies at Wolongo Reserve after they were shot and battered with a hammer, which was found next to their bodies.
Swift investigations by the police officers from the Ilembe Task Team; Nsuze SAPS and the Umhlali K9 Unit together with a tracking company led to the arrest of fours suspect on Friday.
It is alleged that Khonzeni received a call from a woman advising her to go to collect stokvel money that was owed to her on Wednesday.
She left with her husband but shortly afterwards the family received a call from an unknown person who demanded a ransom for the release of the couple.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said a case of kidnapping had been opened at the Nsuze police station.
He said the couple’s vehicle was spotted a few kilometres from their home.
“The police gave chase as the occupants sped off. They lost control of the vehicle and crashed.
“The suspects fled into the bushes,” he said.
The suspects, who are aged between 25 and 46, were arrested on Friday and are expected appear in the Maphumulo Magistrate’s Court today.
The suspects were found in possession of a firearm, cash and one of the victims’ cellphones.
“They will be charged with two counts of murder, illegal possession of a firearm and possession of suspected stolen property,” Naicker said.
Lindiwe Dube, the couple’s daughter, said the family usually spent Christmas Day together.
“My parents were excited about Christmas Day.
“This is the chance we get each year to be together as a family.
“Our Christmas lunch preparations were almost done. My father was more excited this time around as the family was also planning an outing.
“All those plans have been dashed. Instead, we are now planning a funeral of both our parents, something extremely painful, especially at this time of the year,” she said.
The couple were buried in the Esidumbini area in Ndwedwe yesterday.
Dube said the family was shattered by the death of their parents, who were their breadwinners.
She said some of her eight siblings and their children were financially dependent on their parents.
She said their mother, a former teacher, was a member of a stokvel that contributed money and loaned it out.
She said their mother had saved money to assist her grandchildren with back-to-school supplies.
“Education was her first priority. We are a family of eight siblings. Although we are now adults, some of us are unemployed.
“She looked forward to getting her savings and using it towards school fees, uniforms and to pay for school transport.
“She wanted to make sure that her grandchildren were not stranded come the first day of school,” she said.
The police issued a warning to stokvel members earlier this month to be vigilant with large sums of cash.
KZN SAPS commissioner Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula commended the investigation team, which worked around the clock to bring the perpetrators to book within two days of the couple’s disappearance.
“We hope that the family will find comfort knowing that these cold-blooded killers will pay the price for their cruelty,” said Jula.
Three weeks ago another stokvel member was shot and killed and three others were injured when they were robbed of their cash in Thenjane Reserve.