Susan Malan ‘s attacker was ‘shaking too much to slaughter her’ so his comrade cut her throat instead…
Vereeniging regional court – One of the 3 co-accused black murderers of Vereeniging smallholders Jan and Susan Malan was ‘shaking too much to slaughter her as he had been told to do.’ So his comrade Motsekua Joseph Thabanyane cut the 60-year-old Afrikaans woman’s throat instead. She worked as a clerk in the Children’s Court; her husband was a retired police officer.
This was the chilling testimony of 29-year-old Lehlohonolo Johannes Pula, who appeared in court for the gruesome murder on the elderly Afrikaans couple on June 11 2011. However is it entire the truth? The couple had received death threats before the murder; their dogs had been poisoned and the local cops had refused to investigate these formal complaints before they were murdered. (source for court case: Riata Nel, Beeld, Vereeniging).
Pula was tried seperately when he admitted guilt on two charges of murder, housebreaking and armed robbery. He said in his plea-explanation that he and Thabanyane just happened to be breaking into the farm ‘looking for money’, when the couple drove up and they decided on the spur of the moment to kill them. His two other co-accused, Vakele Mngxongo, 19 and Thabanyane, deny guilt and have to re-appear in court again on July 15, when Pula’s judgment will be delivered. Mngxongo’s role has not yet been explained: his trial and that of Thabanyane starts from July 15.
Now we are going to kill them…
Some important details were missing from Lula’s plea-explanation which make his statement very contradictory: Lula said in his plea-explanation that he and Thabanyane went to the Malan couple’s smallholding at Mooilande to buy cigarettes. They broke in when they found no-one at home. Thabanyane broke the window and Pula followed him inside. “He said I must look for the money.’ Pula then climbed out of the window again and spotted the couple’s car driving up. He asked Thabanyane what they should do and Pula testified that he himself had then replied: ‘now we are going to kill them.’ They agreed that Pula was to grab Mrs Malan while his comrade concentrated on Mr Malan. Mr Malan put the groceries in the kitchen, his wife walked to the living room. She was ambushed and grabbed by Pula, who held her while Thabanyane – in Pula’s words — had ‘slaughtered Mr Malan with the knife, cutting him several times,’ according to the plea-explanation. “Thabanyane came to me and said I had to slaughter her. I could not because I was shaking too much. He took back the knife and cut through her throat.’ He did not explain where he’d gotten the knife. He didn’t explain why Mrs Malan’s face was covered up with a scarf. And there are many other questions hanging over this case. It was remanded to the same courtroom at Vereeniging regional court for Pulas judgment.
However there’s a whole lot more to this story: Just after the double-murder, statements were made to the news media by local residents and relatives that nothing was robbed – not even their car which still had their keys in it. Her handbag was found next to her body, his wallet was still atop the kitchen cupboard with the bagged groceries. Their gun still was inside the safe. It’s very relevant that the couple had received a death threat, and that their dogs were poisoned a week earlier – and just as relevant that the local police had adamantly refused to investigate the couple’s formal complaints. There are other discrepancies between Pula’s testimony and statements made just after the double-murder that Mr. Malan had also been struck with a hatchet.
Maid received warning at church that her employers ‘would be next’ after dogs were poisoned
The mutilated bodies of Jan Malan, 64, and his wife Susan, 60, were found on the Mooilande-smallholdings outside Vereeniging: hacked and knifed to death with a hatchet – according to the first statements about this in Beeld newspaper the day after the murder. Beeld also recorded other troubling details, namely that the Monday before they were murdered, the retired police officer was turned away from the Groendenne Satellite police station when he tried to have police investigate a death-threat he and his wife had received through their maid, and they also wanted to report that some of their dogs were poisoned.
They were murdered on Saturday June 11 2011: ambushed as they were carrying their groceries inside their homestead. Nothing was stolen, not even their blue Toyota Corolla car; nor their legal guns locked inside the legally-registered gunsafe, nor their wallets or her handbag: it was lying right next to her mutilated body, her face covered by a scarf, when the couple were found.
It’s accurate that her throat was sliced right through; but also omitted from the testimony by Pula was that her face was then covered up by a scarf; that her husband was stabbed in the left-side of his body with a knife and that he had also sustained hatchet-wounds to his face and head.
Pictures of the couple: