Couple murder suspect in court

2009-06-23 00:00

THE gardener accused of the murder of a Merrivale couple appeared in court yesterday.

Alfred Ntuli appeared in the Howick Magistrate’s Court on two charges of murder and one of robbery. He has been remanded in custody and will appear again on Monday, June 29.

Ntuli is accused of killing Alan O’Neal and his wife Hannetjie Blom, whose charred bodies were found in a bush thicket at a Dargle farm.

Ntuli had been employed as a gardener at the couple’s home in Merrivale.

The motive for the murder is believed to be revenge related to an altercation he allegedly had with the couple. It is alleged that a cellphone belonging to Blom had been stolen from the couple’s house. Ntuli returned it after she threatened to report the theft to the police. On the night preceding the discovery of the couple’s bodies it is believed that Ntuli and an accomplice had waited for the couple to return home. When they returned home in separate vehicles the accused and his friend allegedly bound the couple and took them in their vehicles, a VW Jetta and a Jeep Cherokee, which were found in Dargle and Hilton respectively.

Police are still searching for the second suspect.

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