Retirement village double murder case postponed awaiting possible guilty pleas

Jewellery and Krugerrands were among valuable items found to be missing after two elderly women were murdered in their rooms at the St John Stella Londt Retirement Centre in Sunridge Park in Port Elizabeth.
Jewellery and Krugerrands were among valuable items found to be missing after two elderly women were murdered in their rooms at the St John Stella Londt Retirement Centre in Sunridge Park in Port Elizabeth.
Image: Eugene Coetzee

Plea negotiations took place between the prosecution and lawyers for two of the men charged in connection with the murders of two elderly women in a Sunridge Park retirement village in September.

The men — Panganai Mabwe, 27, and Craig Madiro, 20 — appeared briefly in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Monday morning alongside caregiver Nomgebisi Slangveld, 34, Mkhuseli Damenti, 30, and Nyasha Manyange, 33.

They are all charged on the basis of common purpose for robbing and murdering Agnes Burns, 91, and Rosemary Langton, 87, at the St John Stella Londt Retirement Centre on September 9.

It is understood that Slangveld had been on duty on the night of the botched robberies.

The bodies of Burns and Langton were discovered in their rooms the following morning. The women had been bound and gagged.

A number of valuable items, including Krugerrands and jewellery, were stolen from the women who had been friends.

The case had been set down for Monday for the accused to bring formal bail applications.

However, the matter was postponed to Wednesday for possible guilty pleas from Mabwe and Madiro on some of the charges, the court heard.

State advocate Marius Stander said the charge sheet still needed to be finalised.

Two of the men are foreign nationals and their status in the country also needed to be confirmed.

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