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Johannesburg - The brutal rape and murder of a Mpumalanga pensioner, allegedly at the hands of her daughters and their boyfriends, has shocked the community and seasoned police officers.

Police allege that one daughter held her mother down as her and her sisters' boyfriends raped and strangled the 62-year-old woman.

The motive for the savage murder of Wanter Dlamini is believed to be a R80 000 insurance policy.

Nonhlanhla Mthunywa, 30, and her sister, who was not at home at the time of the murder but is alleged to have helped plan it, are behind bars but their boyfriends and a third person - the alleged mastermind of the murder plot - are still at large.

Mthunywa allegedly invited her mother to her home on January 6, where she had arranged for a 41-year-old friend, as well as her boyfriend and her sister's lover, to attack the older woman. 

"When she (Dlamini) eventually arrived at Mthunywa's place, she was allegedly kidnapped, assaulted, senselessly gang-raped by the two male friends whilst Mthunywa and her friend were holding her.

"When the suspects were done with their barbaric deeds, they strangled Dlamini to death, wrapped her body with a blanket and then hid it in an outside toilet," Hlathi said.

Later that day Mthunywa's 29-year-old sister arrived and was informed that her mother's body had been hidden in the toilet.

"The sibling was restless to a point where she organised transport which helped to remove Dlamini's body and dumped it in a nearby veld," Hlathi said.

A passerby stumbled upon Dlamini's body in the veld and alerted police.

Speaking to The Star on Thursday morning, Brigadier Leonard Hlathi, the spokesperson for the Mpumalanga police, said had never come across a case as shocking as this in his entire career.

"I have never seen anything like this in my career and next month I will be 31 years in the police," Hlathi said.

The Provincial Commissioner of Police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma, has condemned Dlamini's murder and welcomed the arrests.

"It is very shameful to witness the murders of people who are allegedly killed or kidnapped by their own family members that are driven by greed and the love of money. 

"There is indeed a degeneration of morals in our society and we call on faith-based organisations as well as community based organisations to work hand in gloves with the police  with a view to instill morals in the society, " Zuma said. 

Mthunywa was arrested on Tuesday and appeared at the  Barberton Magistrate's Court the same day, while her sister was arrested on Wednesday and was expected to appear in court on Thursday.

Hlathi said Dlamini's murder had been planned over a long period. 

"It has since surfaced that in November 2019, an insurance policy was taken by Mthunywa's friend wherein Dlamini's name was in the centre of the policy and her unnatural death would imply that there would be a double cash payouts. 

Police have launched a manhunt for the remaining suspects and calling on anyone with information on the crime to contact them. 

The Star