Two suspects made their first appearance before the Thaba Nchu Magistrate’s Court on Thursday facing charges of business robbery and murder after the killing of a tavern owner in Ratlou, Free State police said in a statement on Friday.
Police spokesperson Sergeant Martin Xuma said the incident occurred on Monday evening when the two suspects, Retshidisitswe Tolwana, 27, and Thapelo Stuurman, 31, allegedly went into a local tavern in Ratlou, near Thaba Nchu, armed with a knife.
“They threatened the tavern owner with a knife and allegedly took an undisclosed amount of money. The tavern owner tried to fight them off but they allegedly stabbed him with a knife on his chest. The two fled on foot and the tavern owner Jacob Ngakantsi, aged 48, was taken to a local hospital where he died.”
Xuma said that a case of business robbery and murder was opened for investigation and Selosesha Detective members managed to get information about the case and were able to trace the first suspect at his house in Ratlou on Tuesday.
“A knife with blood stains that is presumed to have been used in a murder case was found at the first suspect’s house and some money was also found. Members interrogated the first suspect and he led the police to the second suspect,” Xuma said.
There one of the family members informed the police that he washed the blood off of the second suspect’s body.
The case was remanded to January 16 for a formal bail application and further investigation.
Lieutenant General Lebeoana Tsumane, Free State provincial police commissioner, pleaded with members of the public not to put up a fight against armed criminals as this may put their lives at risk.