In the dead of night, while the residents were sleeping peacefully, evil and cruel attackers were lurking around, deciding on their plans for a double murder at Stella Londt.
On Wednesday October 9, Agnes Elaine Burns (91) and Rosemary Langton (87) were in turn attacked, their hands and feet tied, gagged and then smothered to a dreadfully slow death.
The normally peaceful Saint John Stella Londt retirement village, situated in Sunridge Park, Port Elizabeth, woke up to panic and fear, when staff at around 5:45 am, discovered the double murder at Stella Londt.
According to a local newspaper The Herald Live, police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said, “The two women were found in bed in separate rooms.”
“They were found by night shift staff at about 5:45am. Their hands and feet were bound and they had both been gagged,” said Colonel Priscilla Naidu. “It appeared the motive was robbery and detectives are on the scene.” she added.
In a report by The South African, Stella Londt was a farm owned by William Edward Londt, the complex prides itself as a four-hectare estate that holds 62 cottages, 32 semi-dependent garden flats, 23 assisted living rooms, a sickbay, as well as a B&B flat.
Double murder at Stella Londt
One reporter on the scene Tweeted: Residents of St John Stella Londt Retirement Centre in Port Elizabeth say they no longer feel safe in this centre and are calling for quick intervention to boost security.
Detectives have yet to issue an update on what the motive behind the murders is. However, based on what was observed at the crime scenes, it is possible that this was a robbery with intent to murder the victims.
Krugerrands, elite watches, gold rings and a wedding band with a precious stone as well as other jewellery and a cellphone was taken.
On October 18, around 2am, 5 suspects (1 female and 4 males) were arrested within the Port Elizabeth area.
Some of the items were recovered from a suspect in the Kuyga area.
The female suspect, aged 34, is a caregiver at the retirement home and was on duty during the alleged murders.
Panganai Mabwe, 27, has since pleaded guilty to money laundering and was fined R5,000 (or 12 months in prison) and three years’ imprisonment, suspended for three years.
Craig Madiro, 20, also pleaded guilty to money laundering and was sentenced to three years in prison, suspended for three years. The stolen cellphones were found in their possession.
Nombebisi Slangveld, 34, Mkhuseli Damaneti, 30, and Nyasha Manyange, 33, are in custody.