Thursday, 5 November 2009

Guesthouse owners murdered

2009-10-29 15:27

Tshwarelo eseng Mogakane

Sabie - Mpumalanga police are on the hunt for two suspects in connection with the murder of a well-known Lowveld couple.

The couple, whose restaurant was famous for its fine food and especially its homemade pasta, were found murdered in their house at the disused Hendriksdal Railway Station near Sabie on Thursday morning.

"The police have launched a manhunt for two suspects who are believed to have attacked and shot the couple. We are also investigating a case of business robbery and double murder," said provincial police spokesperson Superintendent Abie Khoabane.

He said the couple were shot dead with a rifle in their house, right next to their business.

"We are still trying to establish if anything was stolen and we hope to make arrests soon," he said.

The couple, whose names have been withheld because their relatives have not been notified, had turned the former stationmaster's house into a guesthouse and owned a restaurant on the same premises.

Five shots

A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said his domestic worker and another neighbour had heard about five shots just before 07:00.

When they went to investigate, they found the couple dead, still in their pyjamas.

"The robbers ran out the back door. The house had been ransacked," the neighbour said.

He said members of the White River police's dog unit arrived at the scene, but it had started raining and the dogs lost the robbers' scent. The Middelburg Crime Investigation Unit and members of the Sabie police were also on the scene.

Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism board correspondent Linda Grimbeek said the incident was "shocking" and that their deaths would affect tourism in the Lowveld and surrounding areas.

"We all have to start mobilising against crime because this is not just a matter for the police - it affects all of us, businesses and jobs as well," said Grimbeek.

- African Eye


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