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Killers wanted family's Lotto winnings - cops

Published Jun 5, 2005

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By Sheetal Schneider

A two-year-old is still emotionally traumatised after his parents and siblings were murdered by neighbours who thought the family had won the lottery and attempted to rob them.

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Two men have been arrested for the murder of a family in Mhluzi, near Middelburg, Mpumalanga. The bodies of the family were discovered by a visiting neighbour that alerted the police.

The man and his common law wife were found hanged from the roof, with an electrical cord, their hands bound behind their backs. The bodies of the toddler's nine and six-year-old sisters were found in the bathroom and bedroom.

The two-year-old had hidden from the attackers, when they stormed his home. "They (the attackers) thought the family had won the Lotto (lottery) and confessed that it was the reason they tried to rob them," said Captain Van Zyl, Head of the Middelburg Serious and Violent Crimes Unit.

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Van Zyl said that the men had lived in the same street and were probably surprised to discover the family were at home when they struck.

Post mortems conducted this week revealed that the 9-year-old had been raped.

Johannes Eugene Mahlanga, 33, and Johannes Fani Mtsweni, 31, were arrested and charged with four counts of murder, one count of robbery and one count of rape, after police received a tip-off from a source.

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