Man in court for murder of Durban couple

2014-04-24 00:00

THE man accused of murdering Durban couple Brian and Tilly Pope at a Free State guest house made a brief court appearance yesterday.

Malawian Pharaoh Mhone (32), the caretaker at Tweevley Farm near Harrismith, appeared in the town’s magistrate’s court. The case was postponed to May 6 so that the services of a interpreter in Mhone’s mother tongue, Chichewa, can be obtained.

Mhone indicated that he wants to appoint his own lawyer. He is accused of shooting the Popes in their beds at around midnight on Saturday, and then of assaulting Brian’s son, Warren, and Warren’s wife, Marlene.

Ryno du Preez of Pinetown, a spokesperson for the family and Warren’s brother-in-law, said the couple are still in hospital in Bethlehem. Funeral arrangements have not yet been finalised, pending their release from treatment.

Du Preez said the family are just starting to mourn. “As it gets quieter, it sinks in more.”

Police spokesperson Sergeant Mmako Mophiring said Mhone’s wife and year-old child are in a place of safety. He said she has been very emotional. She told police that she was asleep when her husband left their house before the killings.

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