File picture
A married couple are believed to have organised a hit on their 17-year-old son, who was shot dead last year.

The accused father and stepmother made a brief appearance in the Thaba Nchu Magistrate’s Court in the Free State on Monday, where they pleaded not guilty.

Teboho Chris Molatole, 45, and his wife Monkie Kelebogile Molatole, 48, were arrested along with two other people - Mampho Ranthimu, 52, and Kgwediyamorena Sefuthi, 31.

It is alleged that Ranthimu organised the execution, while Sefuthi carried it out.

It was not yet clear if they were hired by the couple, who have denied the murder charge.

Police spokesperson Martin Xuma said Kearabetswe Leteane was shot dead on April 5, a few minutes after returning home from football practice.

“Leteane had just returned from a soccer practice and was relaxing in his back room at his father’s house in Gladstone Trust in Thaba Nchu when an unknown male entered the room and allegedly shot him once in the chest before fleeing the scene,” he said. “The motive for the killing is the subject of investigation."

Sefuthi was arrested last Thursday and the other three were apprehended the following day.

Ranthimu and Sefuthi also appeared in court on Monday.

“A pistol suspected to have been used in the commission of the crime was found in the alleged hitman’s possession and has been sent for ballistic tests,” Xuma said.

The case was postponed for further investigation and the suspects will appear again on January 18 for a formal bail application.

Xuma added that the relationship between the boy and the couple was being probed.