A presidential protection officer who is accused of murdering his wife and daughter two years ago closed his case without testifying in his trial in the High Court in Pretoria yesterday.
Warrant Officer Benedict Peloeole, who worked as a VIP protection officer at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, last year denied guilt to charges of murdering his wife Jane, 42, and daughter Tsholofelo, 23, in their home in Westville, Pretoria West, on the night of September 12, 2015.
He admitted that spent cartridges and bullets found at the scene had been fired from his service pistol.
But he insisted he had been given a substances to subdue him that day and that he knew nothing about the shooting.
He said in his plea explanation that he was told that he had shot them, but he denied it.
He suggested that his nephew, Kgosietsile Peloeole, 21, had set him up for the murders because the nephew was having a relationship with his daughter and was afraid of being kicked out if his uncle found out about it.
His nephew and a cousin, who were both in the house during the shooting, testified that Peloeole had opened fire on both women without saying a word and without any apparent reason.
He had asked his wife to cook for him shortly before the incident and she was frying onions when he shot her.
His daughter, a social worker, was watching television when she was shot. One of Peloeole’s brothers testified that the nephew and cousin who witnessed the murders had been close friends since they were children, but that he had last seen them together 18 years ago.
There was an age gap of eight years between the two, he added. Peloeole’s brother admitted that he did not want him to go to jail and that he was giving evidence to try and help.
He said he had asked his brother what had happened when he visited him in jail, but the accused said he could not remember anything.
Judge Eben Jordaan postponed the trial to April for Peloeole to sort out his finances and pay his legal team, who have been representing him free of charge for some time to assist the court.